I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country... Only the emergency that makes it immediately dangerous to leave the correction of evil counsels to time warrants making any exception to the sweeping command, 'Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.'
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
(1841-1935) US Supreme Court Justice, also known as "The Great Dissenter"
Abrams et al v. United States, 1919
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Reader comments about this quote:
Yes,Now what is the next step for the "Defenders of Liberty" to take?
 -- KS     
    Make people aware of the way congress infringes our rights. When enough people are mad enough a civil war will occur to get the bastards out of office.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
     -- RBE, Anywhere in Europe      
    The Justice hides his intent with throwing out the sound bite; Congress shall make no law ⋯ abridging freedom of speech Through a stare decisis, the Justice broadened the opening of tyranny and other despotic censorship with his " interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law " What law? The law he is referencing is carnal gods tyrannical legal positivism (vs the laws of nature and of nature's God - that which is antithetical to the individual sovereign of 'We The People'.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Ah, yes, high principles indeed -- except in an emergency. Somehow, during an emergency, all power needs to roll up to the commander in chief (who declares the emergency). That's how fascism made such headway in the 20th century.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    A giant of a quote, from a giant of a Constitutionalist! Sad and pathetic, how the liberals are so wont to relinquish and curtail, what ALL TRUE AMERICANS champion without a second thought. WOE TO TREASONOUS TRAITORS working agin our Liberty to freely communicate, if internet is hijacked on 1 October, that will be another step closer to civil war between Patriots and our despotic govt/statist liberal "country(girlie)men".
     -- Mark, Aurora, CO     
    Holmes apposed the doctrine of " natural law ". Excellent responses Mike and Archer, thank you. A little home work exposes the misdirection of patriotism and the slight of tongue.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    Don't perform abortions. Respect life.
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
  • 1
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