Home Attorneys & Law Federal Court Enjoins New York’s “Hateful Conduct Law” as Unconstitutional

Federal Court Enjoins New York’s “Hateful Conduct Law” as Unconstitutional


There is a major victory for free speech in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York where Judge Andrew Carter Jr. has enjoined a New York Hate Speech law regulating social media. In Volokh v. James, Judge Carter granted a preliminary injunction on the basis that “the Hateful Conduct Law” is blatantly unconstitutional, which it most certainly is. It is only the latest law passed by the New York legislature that was quickly enjoined by the federal courts. Albany has become a type of perpetual motion machine of unconstitutional excesses.

Like many attacks on free speech, the New York law came in response to a tragedy. On May 14, 2022, an avowed white supremacist killed ten people and wounded three others in Buffalo, New York. He used Twitch to livestream his attack on the Black shoppers.

Governor Kathy Hochul immediately used the massacre to renew attacks on social media companies and to demand new regulations of speech. She directed the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) to investigate “the specific online platforms that were used to broadcast and amplify the acts and intentions of the mass shooting” and  to “investigate various online platforms for ‘civil or criminal…

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