Facts of the Case
Chaplinsky, a Jehovah's Witness, called a city marshal a "God-damned racketeer" and "a damned fascist" in a public place. He was arrested and convicted under a state law for violating a breach of the peace.
Does the application of the statute violate Chaplinsky's freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment?
No. Some forms of expressionamong them obscenity and fighting wordsdo not convey ideas and thus are not subject to First Amendment protection. In this case, Chaplinsky uttered fighting words, i.e., words that "inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace."