"Our First Amendment expresses
a far different calculus for regulating speech
than for regulating nonexpressive conduct
and that is as it should be.
The right to swing your fist should end at the tip of my nose,
but your right to express your ideas
should not necessarily end at the lobes of my ears."
by:
Alan Dershowitz
(1938- ) Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School
Source:
Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age, 2002
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Reader comments about this quote:
said very well
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    I don't agree the First Amendment should or does distinguish between forms of expression; verbal (spoken or written), or nonverbal (actions) Libety should include all forms of nonviolent expression equally. At best, I would either eliminate the adjective, nonexpressive, or at least the prefix, non-. I do like the illustration of the fist and another person's nose as an example of freedom of expression, however.
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
  •  
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    Well said.
     -- Mike, Mount Holly, NC     
  •  
     -- E Archer, NYC      
    Well said and true; and yet I wonder if he would also defend the right of a high school valedictorian to express himself in a speech at graduation if it included the word "God" (not used as a curse word)? Sometimes people have such sensitive earlobes, afterall.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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