I am for the First Amendment from the first word to the last. I believe it means what it says.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
The interest of the people lies in being able to join organizations, advocate causes, and make political “mistakes” without being subjected to governmental penalties.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
Without deviation, without exception, without any ifs, buts, or whereases, freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they express, or the words they speak or write.
more Justice Hugo L. Black quotes
And, lastly, to vindicate these rights, when actually violated and attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self preservation and defense.
more Sir William Blackstone quotes
The public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual's private rights.
more Sir William Blackstone quotes
That the king can do no wrong is a necessary and fundamental principle of the English constitution.
more Sir William Blackstone quotes
Patterning your life around other's opinions is nothing more than slavery.
more Lawana Blackwell quotes
Freedom of religion means the right of the individual to choose and to adhere to whichever religious beliefs he may prefer, to join with others in religious associations to express these beliefs, and to incur no civil disabilities because of his choice…
more Joseph L. Blau quotes
Q. What is meant by the term “constitution”?
A. A constitution embodies the fundamental principles of a government. Our constitution, adopted by the sovereign power, is amendable by that power only. To the constitution all laws, executive actions, and judicial decisions must conform, as it is the creator of the powers exercised by the departments of government.
Q. Why has our Constitution been classed as “rigid”?
A. The term “rigid” is used in opposition to “flexible” because the provisions are in a written document which cannot be legally changed with the same ease and in the same manner as ordinary laws. The British constitution, which is unwritten, can, on the other hand be changed overnight by an act of Parliament. ...
Q. Where, in the Constitution, is there mention of education?
A. There is none; education is a matter reserved for the States. ...
Q. Does the Constitution give us our rights and liberties?
A. No, it does not, it only guarantees them. The people had all their rights and liberties before they made the Constitution. The Constitution was formed, among other purposes, to make the people’s liberties secure -- secure not only as against foreign attack but against oppression by their own government. They set specific limits upon their national government and upon the States, and reserved to themselves all powers that they did not grant. The Ninth Amendment declares: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

more Sol Bloom quotes
In the whole history of law and order, the biggest step was taken by primitive man when...the tribe sat in a circle and allowed only one man to speak at a time. An accused who is shouted down has no rights whatever.
more Curtis Bok quotes
[It is] a natural Right which the people have reserved to themselves, confirmed by the [English] Bill of rights, to keep arms for their own defense; and as Mr. Blackstone observes, it is to be made use of when the sanctions of Society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.
more Boston Evening Post quotes
Without free speech no search for truth is possible... no discovery of truth is useful. Better a thousand fold abuse of free speech than denial of free speech. The abuse dies in a day, but the denial slays the life of the people.
more Charles Bradlaugh quotes
The most important political office is that of private citizen.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
Ways may someday be developed by which the government, without removing papers from secret drawers, can reproduce them in court, and by which it will be enabled to expose to a jury the most intimate occurrences of the home.
more Justice Louis D. Brandeis quotes
Individualism is at once an ethical-psychological concept and an ethical-political one. As an ethical-psychological concept, individualism holds that a human being should think and judge independently, respecting nothing more than the sovereignty of his or her mind; thus, it is intimately connected with the concept of autonomy. As an ethical-political concept, individualism upholds the supremacy of individual rights ...
more Nathaniel Branden quotes
All ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance – unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion, have the full protection of the guarantees [of the First Amendment].
more Justice William J. Brennan quotes
If there is a bedrock principle of the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.
more Justice William J. Brennan quotes
The concept of military necessity is seductively broad, and has a dangerous plasticity. Because they invariably have the visage of overriding importance, there is always a temptation to invoke security "necessities" to justify an encroachment upon civil liberties. For that reason, the military-security argument must be approached with a healthy skepticism.
more Justice William J. Brennan quotes
We should never define libertarian positions in terms coined by liberals and conservatives, nor as some variant of their positions. We are not fiscally conservative and socially liberal. We are libertarians, who believe in individual liberty and personal responsibility on all issues at all times.
more Harry Browne quotes
We are so concerned to flatter the majority that we lose sight of how very often it is necessary, in order to preserve freedom for the minority, let alone for the individual, to face that majority down.
more William F. Buckley, Jr. quotes
All lawful authority, legislative, and executive, originates from the people.
more James Burgh quotes
We must not always judge of the generality of the opinion by the noise of the acclamation.
more Edmund Burke quotes
Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
more Edmund Burke quotes
The people never give up their liberties, but under some delusion.
more Edmund Burke quotes
It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
more Edmund Burke quotes
After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military.
more William S. Burroughs quotes
Freedom and the power to choose should not be the privilege of wealth. They are the birthright of every American.
more George Herbert Walker Bush quotes
“Due process,” a standard that arose in our system of law and stemmed from the desire to provide rational procedure and fair play, is equally indispensable in every other kind of social or political enterprise.
more Edmond Cahn quotes
When I sell liquor, it's called bootlegging; when my patrons serve it on Lake Shore Drive, it's called hospitality.
more Al Capone quotes
America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around. Human rights invented America.
more Jimmy Carter quotes
I think that every true reformer, every real friend of liberty, will agree with me in saying that if we must erect safeguards, they should be rather for the security of the individual than of the mass, and that our chiefest care must be to train the majority to respect the rights of the minority, to prevent the claims of the few from being trampled under foot by the caprice or passion of the many.
more Sir Richard John Cartwright quotes
The real value of freedom is not to the minority that wants to talk but to the majority that does not want to listen.
more Zechariah Chafee, Jr. quotes
I call the mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith...
more William Ellery Channing quotes
It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.
more Shirley Chisholm quotes
To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas.
more Dr. G. Brock Chisolm quotes
If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
more Noam Chomsky quotes
The price of greatness is responsibility.
more Sir Winston Churchill quotes
There exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.
more Marcus Tullius Cicero quotes
Les femmes sont tout à fait compétentes pour assurer leur légitime défense, pourvu que la loi ne les transforme pas en criminelles si elles emploient des moyens efficaces à cette fin." "Women are quite able to see to their own defence, as long as the law does not transform them into criminals if they take effective measures to do so.
more Claire Joly, Marie Latourelle, Maryse Martin, and Karen Selick quotes
A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
more Ramsey Clark quotes
We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
more Bill Clinton quotes
We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
more Bill Clinton quotes
The purpose of government is to rein in the rights of the people.
more Bill Clinton quotes
When we got organized as a country and we wrote a fairly radical Constitution with a radical Bill of Rights, giving a radical amount of individual freedom to Americans, it was assumed that the Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly.... [However, now] there's a lot of irresponsibility. And so a lot of people say there's too much freedom. When personal freedom's being abused, you have to move to limit it.
more Bill Clinton quotes
The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons.
more Colorado Constitution quotes
The victim to too severe a law is considered as a martyr rather than a criminal.
more Charles Caleb Colton quotes
Every effort to confine Americanism to a single pattern, to constrain it to a single formula, is disloyalty to everything that is valid in Americanism.
more Henry Steele Commager quotes
The justification and the purpose of freedom of speech is not to indulge those who want to speak their minds. It is to prevent error and discover truth. There may be other ways of detecting error and discovering truth than that of free discussion, but so far we have not found them.
more Henry Steele Commager quotes
[When] Men are not allowed to think freely about chemistry and biology, why should they be allowed to think freely about political philosophy?
more Auguste Comte quotes
Social positivism only accepts duties, for all and towards all. Its constant social viewpoint cannot include any notion of rights, for such notion always rests on individuality. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. These obligations then increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service. ... Any human right is therefore as absurd as immoral. Since there are no divine rights anymore, this concept must therefore disappear completely as related only to the preliminary regime and totally inconsistent with the final state where there are only duties based on functions.
more Auguste Comte quotes
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