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Speech not protected under the First Amendment because it might incite a violent response. Those personally abusive epithets which, when addressed to the ordinary citizen, are, as a matter of common knowledge, inherently likely to provoke violent reaction. Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U. S. 568 (1942). Such words must be clearly 'directed to the person of the hearer.' Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U. S. 296, 310 U. S. 309 (1940). The police have the power to prevent a speaker from intentionally provoking a given group to hostile reaction. Cf. Feiner v. New York, 340 U. S. 315 (1951); Termniello v. Chicago, 337 U. S. 1 (1949). 


The protections afforded by the First Amendment are not absolute, and the Supreme Court has long recognized that the government may regulate certain categories of expression consistent with the Constitution. See, e.g., Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 571-572 (1942) (“There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which has never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem”). The First Amendment permits “restrictions upon the content of speech in a few limited areas, which are ‘of such slight ...

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