People cited violation of the First Amendment when a New Jersey schoolteacher asserted that evolution and the Big Bang are not scientific and that Noah's ark carried dinosaurs. This case is not about the need to separate church and state; it's about the need to separate ignorant, scientifically illiterate people from the ranks of teachers.
I am prepared to waive the privilege against self-incrimination and to tell you everything you wish to know about my views or actions if your committee will agree to refrain from asking me to name other people. If the committee is unwilling to give me this assurance, I will be forced to plead the privilege of the fifth Amendment at the hearing.lillian hellman
[The] National Rifle Association is always arguing that the Second Amendment determines the right to bear arms. But I think it really is the people's right to bear arms in a militia. The NRA thinks it protects their right to have Teflon-coated bullets. But that's not the original understanding.robert bork
I say that the Second Amendment doesn't allow for exceptions or else it would have read that the right "to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, unless Congress chooses otherwise." And because there are no exceptions, I disagree with my fellow panelists who say the existing gun laws should be enforced. Those laws are unconstitutional [and] wrong because they put you at a disadvantage to armed criminals, to whom the laws are no inconvenience.harry browne
It is no longer open to doubt that the liberty of the press, and of speech, is within the liberty safeguarded by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from invasion by state action. It was found impossible to conclude that this essential personal liberty of the citizen was left unprotected by the general guaranty of fundamental rights of person and property.charles evans hughes
"Global Warming" represents the last gasp of so-called "scientific progressivism", a mass of pitifully transparent falsehoods being employed to justify reducing mankind under the absolute despotism of "experts", the obvious implication being that we can’t even breathe responsibly. Environmentalism, Gaianism, is a religion on the basis of which – illegally under the First Amendment – public policy is being generated. Exhaling carbon dioxide is Original Sin, a reliable source of unlimited power and wealth to a Parasitic Class of politicians, bureaucrats, and cops with which our civilization now finds itself infested.l. neil smith
It is no longer open to doubt that the liberty of the press, and of speech, is within the liberty safeguarded by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from invasion by state action. It was found impossible to conclude that this essential personal liberty of the citizen was left unprotected by the general guaranty of fundamental rights of person and property.
We would, I think, more faithfully interpret the First Amendment by holding that, at the very least, it leaves the people and the press free to criticize officials and discuss public affairs with impunity. This Nation of ours elects many of its important officials; so do the States, the municipalities, the counties, and even many precincts. These officials are responsible to the people for the way they perform their duties.
At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters of public interest and concern. The freedom to speak one's mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty – and thus a good unto itself – but also is essential to the common quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole. We have therefore been particularly vigilant to ensure that individual expressions of ideas remain free from governmentally imposed sanctions.
That Amendment requires the state to be a neutral in its relations with groups of religious believers and nonbelievers; it does not require the state to be their adversary. State power is no more to be used so as to handicap religions than it is to favor them.hugo black
The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.hugo black
The First Amendment provides the only kind of security system that can preserve a free government – one that leaves the way wide open for people to favor, discuss, advocate, or incite causes and doctrines however obnoxious and antagonistic such views may be to the rest of us.hugo black
The meaning of the First Amendment has been, and will be, shaped by each American generation: by judges, political leaders, citizens. There will always be authorities who try to make their own lives more comfortable by suppressing critical comment.… But I am convinced that the fundamental American commitment to free speech, disturbing speech, is no longer in doubt.anthony lewis
I find the speech in this case patently offensive, hateful, and insulting. The Court should not, however, gloss over three decades of jurisprudence and the centrality of First Amendment freedoms in our lives because it is confronted with speech it does not like.sonia sotomayor
I simply cannot stand by and watch a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States come under attack from those who either can't understand it, don't like the sound of it, or find themselves too philosophically squeamish to see why it remains the first among equals: Because it is the right we turn to when all else fails. That's why the Second Amendment is America's first freedom.Charlton Heston
Now, I doubt any of you would prefer a rolled up newspaper as a weapon against a dictator or a criminal intruder. Yet in essence, that is what you have asked our loved ones to do, through an ill-contrived and totally naive campaign against the Second Amendment.Charlton Heston
If a thing has been practised for two hundred years by common consent, it will need a strong case for the Fourteenth Amendment to affect it.Holmes, Jr., Oliver Wendell
The broadening of the economic order which came to be seated in the individual property owner… dramatized by Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory… "The supremacy of corporate economic power… consolidated by the Supreme Court decision of 1886 which declared that the Fourteenth Amendment protected the corporation… [the New Deal, leading to], within the political arena, as well as in the corporate world itself, competing centers of power that challenged those of the corporate directors.c. wright mills
Librarians see themselves as the guardians of the First Amendment. ... You got a thousand Mother Joneses at the barricades! I love the librarians, and I am grateful for them!Michael Moore
It is true that many Americans find the Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs. But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment.Sandra Day O'Connor
The meaning of the First Amendment has been, and will be, shaped by each American generation: by judges, political leaders, citizens. There will always be authorities who try to make their own lives more comfortable by suppressing critical comment.… But I am convinced that the fundamental American commitment to free speech, disturbing speech, is no longer in doubt.
Anthony Lewis's Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment offers a lucid and engaging overview of American free-speech law. The former Nieman Fellow has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, and this volume puts the skills that earned him those accolades much on display. Again and again, he brings to life the dramatis personae in leading cases, plucks out moving or telling quotations, and explains who won and who lost in order to provide a clear introduction to First Amendment doctrine.
Hustler Magazine v. Falwell is a classic First Amendment case. Its antagonists could have been selected by central casting to embody the fundamental constitutional tension between anarchich self-expression and strict civic virtue.
What universities are saying by these codes, special protections, and double standards to women, to blacks, to Hispanics, to gay and lesbian students is, "You are too weak to live with freedom. You are too weak to live with the First Amendment." If someone tells you you are too weak to live with freedom, they have turned you into a child.
There is no indication - either in the text of the Constitution or in our cases interpreting it - that a separate judicial category exists for the American flag alone. ... We decline ... therefore to create for the flag an exception to the joust of principles protected by the First Amendment.
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.
In its Morgentaler decision of January 1988, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the centrepiece of Canada's abortion law, section 251 of the Criminal Code. The court held that it conflicted with section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the 'security of the person'. This ruling radically changed the legal status quo; it was as if Parliament had repealed that section of the Criminal Code without passing a replacement Amendment.thomas flanagan
However negligent or careless may have been the first omission, however late the proposed Amendment, the Amendment should be allowed if it can be made without injustice to the other side. There is no injustice if the other side can be compensated by costs.
I do not think I ought to allow an Amendment for the mere purpose of enabling the defendant to raise a purely technical objection to the plaintiff's title to sue.
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