It has been the resolution of mankind in all ages of the world. No people, no age, ever threw away the fruits of past wisdom, or the enjoyment of present blessings, for visionary schemes of ideal perfection. It is the knowledge of the past, the actual infliction of the present, that has produced all changes, all innovations, and all improvements — not (as is pretended) the chimerical anticipation of possible advantages, but the intolerable pressure of long-established, notorious, aggravated, and growing abuses.
Falwell is an important decision for free speech in this country. It continues the Court's well-established tradition of providing a high level of protection for those who comment on public affairs, and makes it extremely difficult for politicians and public figures to recover against those who comment on their actions. It also provides protection for the long-established practice of political satire.