"[A] function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve it's high purpose when it indices a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with things as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for understanding."
Justice Potter Stewart
(1915-1985) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
in Free Speech and Political Protest [Marvin Summers], 1967
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
Our current system of government, with its 4th branch (press), argue intensely whether fascism or socialism should dominate in the elimination of free speech, liberty as a whole, and economic prosperity.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I beg to diifer most profoundly, it is our present Republican party and the President that has confined more than any other Administration the liberty of free speach and freedom.
     -- Anonymous     
  • 1
    Right on Anonymous! With Jester Dick claiming the 4th branch to himself, and the (now 5th) branch of the press for the most part silent to King George W's mad power grabs we all need to speak out! Impeach!
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    So I suppose everlasting Peace is out of the question in a free republic. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 3
    I guess I could have given this more stars on the face of the principle. It is just the talking heads, sound bites and governmental limitations that deserve the fewer stars. I would here add to the concept and realization of free speech, the availability of information. Legally, there are far fewer old court cases on the internet than there was just 5 years ago. Words are changing meaning to accommodate the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. Such concepts as the laws of nature and of nature's God, inalienable rights, freedom, liberty, Natural Law, Common Law, etc., etc. etc. are lost to new meanings so there can no longer be free speech on those subjects as they do not exist in the vast majority of men.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    Too bad our college & university campuses are filled with closed minds that refuse to allow free speech & debate.

    Sad day for America.

    "Live free or die"
     -- Bruski, Naples FL     
  • 2
    The first line of the quote is very accurate.
     -- Jim K, Austin     
  • 1
    "Common Sense and the application of Natural law". The High purpose of "free speech" is to invite dispute. It strikes at prejudices and preconceptions with profound unsettling effects as it presses for Understanding. With out "controversy", Homologoumenos, ( to declare openly by way of speaking out Freely, such confession being the effect of Deep convictions of Fact.). " He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is my adversary? let him come near to me." Isaiah 50:8. A Very legal stand point when dealing in " judgment; rights" Adversary,( mishpat ) Judgment of a court concerning the rights belonging to someone. Great is the mystery of "godliness"( eusebeia, "The doctrine which is according to godliness" signifies that which is consistent with "godliness", in contrast to false teachings. ( eusebes, godliness, well, reverent, pious, signifies sacred awe and describes reverence exhibited especially in actions.) Reverence or Awe well directed. ( Theosebeia, " godliness" the fear or reverence of God, a reverence for God's Goodness. " Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause." (Ex 26:3). The sphere in which things are in proper relationship to one's claims. The act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty. The quote by Justice Potter Stewart is a very profound statement, Broad in scope, with a great overview of understanding. A conservative moderate, residing in a progressive court. A voice of common sense and reason, coupled with logical observations concerning natural law and its relationship with man.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    Anonymous and Reston were right -- during both Bush presidencies, the press was all in. Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom were well supported by the media -- that's when CNN really came into its own.

    The 'liberal' media is in fact the 'establishment' media which spends its energy propping up fallcies that justify government power grabs. The masses of uneducated, poor and immigrants make good audiences for the propaganda as they are the most controlled and regulated due to their dependence upon the money and benefits the government provides.

    It is not so much a LIBERAL press as a STATIST press glorifying government POWER.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 2
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?

    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2024 Liberty-Tree.ca