WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court yesterday unanimously struck down a St. Paul, Minn., ordinance prohibiting hate speech, but did not give municipalities much guidance on what can be banned.

The court's ruling in the case, R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul, has been eagerly awaited in part because of its implications for municipal autonomy, but also because of the steady growth of campus speech codes and laws banning speech deriding people on the basis of their ethnicity gender or religious beliefs.

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