"The greater the importance to safeguarding the community from
incitements to the overthrow of our institutions by force and
violence, the more imperative is the need to preserve the
constitutional rights of free speech, free press and free assembly
in order to maintain the opportunity for free political discussion."
by:
Justice Charles Evans Hughes
(1862-1948) Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court
Source:
DeJonge v. Oregon, 1937
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Reader comments about this quote:
Yes, generally speaking, but, when tyranny is the rule and the press only banters what form of tyranny is best or worst, violence is most often the only road back to freedom. I happen to believe in the method of change entreated by Gandhi. If there is insufficient numbers to effect such change, the second amendment assures the first.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Yes to free speech, etc.. If only we spoke the truth... and could tell the difference.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    The people by and large have become domesticated and will never bite the hand that feeds them (as long as it keeps feeding them). The rights of free speech, free press and free assembly are simply no longer a threat to government. Today, free speech and free press means Paris Hilton gets on the front page, and free assembly means people can get together to watch American Idol.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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    Thank you Archer and ken
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Good observation Ken. I believe that we will wake up and get off the couch. Since 9/11 wasn't enough I hate to think what disaster it is going to take to undo the social damage of socialism.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    I find all of the men above to be men of little faith and truly undemocratic and anti-republican in their comments. Mike for one says if the minority cannot effect the change they want they should take up guns: sounds like dictatorship by gun to me. Archer is obviously the only one who knows the truth: that is the beginning of dictatorship. Ken as usual expresses his elitist mind. Warren confuses the politcal issue with economic ones: free speech in this country means the right to speak for and vote for nazi's, bigots, communists, and socialists, democrats and republicans. Given the opportunity I feel certain most of the folks above would take away this freedom if given half a chance. Have faith gentlemen and be patient with democracy.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, you truly live up to your name. Word games and semantics will not win any arguments here. My faith is in the wisdom espoused in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. If you can't tell the difference between when you speak truthfully (even to admit you don't know is to tell the truth) and when you don't then you are truly lost in delusion. You dare to assert that "given half a chance" I (and others who do not share your views on this list) would take away freedom from others -- that is insulting to say the least -- especially from someone who spouts socialist rhetoric daily. I think you just like to hear yourself speak -- casting pearls to swine as it were. Such self-righteousness has been the cause of great misery in this world. Take a break.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Sorry Waffler, but the 2nd Amendment is what keeps the rest of our freedoms safe. The first step to tyranny is the disarmament of law-abiding free citizens. The political commentary aside, the call to arms in the US has always been the political sleeping giant. It is always the minority that protects the freedom of the majority. ALWAYS. That is why the armed minority (of law abiding free citizens, not the druggies and thuggies) must be protected at all costs. By the way, that armed minority is way over represented in the US Armed Forces, the truest defender of freedom and liberty.
     -- Eric, Wichita, KS     
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    Yes Eric I realized I used the wrong amendment but I was taking my cue from what Mike said and I misread him. Archer you are the one who appeared to say that "we" cannot tell the truth from a lie. That sentiment expresses to me an elitism or judgement against most people. I respectfully suggest that having such an opinion against most people can be the beginning of a dictatorial mind. I agree that in a democracy and republic we can be ruled by the lowest common denominator. The least educated states (according to the US Census) are the most red states. So there you have it! Eric I believe it is a lie or at least futile to believe that guns can take on tanks and never has it been tried in our free and democratic republic, Thank God. Archer I still believe from your numerous postings on this site that you think you have knowledge that no one else has. The arms were called awake once Eric and the gentleman was morally right and in the end although he was hung he got his way - the slaves were freed. I speak of course of Mr. Brown.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Waffler, would you please stop rating the quotes more than once. We have asked you repeatedly. Thank you.
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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    Well said Archer - Its funny the blue states have the highest IQ
     -- RobertSRQ     
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    Waffler, you say "you think you have knowledge that no one else has" -- actually, there are many others here that back me up. I suppose I only assert that YOU do not know American Common Law, the American Republic, the intent of the Founders, and the nature of Liberty. 'To make the world safe for democracy' is a term coined by (the stooge) Woodrow Wilson in 1917 -- 141 years after establishing the Republic. You may be old, but you have much yet to learn about American history.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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