Citations:freedom of speech

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English citations of freedom of speech[edit]

The right of citizens to speak, or otherwise communicate, without fear of harm or prosecution.[edit]



  • 1843, Soren Kierkegaard, Either/Or Part I, Swenson, page 19:
    How absurd men are! They never use the liberties they have, they demand those they do not have. They have freedom of thought, they demand freedom of speech.


  • 1920, Zechariah Chafee, Freedom of Speech[1], Harcourt, Brace and Howe, page 366:
    After all, if freedom of speech means anything, it means a willingness to stand and let people say things with which we disagree, and which do weary us considerably.
  • 1940, Frank Murphy, Thornhill v. Alabama, Supreme Court of the United States, page 310 U.S. 88:
    The freedom of speech and of the press, which are secured by the First Amendment against abridgment by the United States, are among the fundamental personal rights and liberties which are secured to all persons by the Fourteenth Amendment against abridgment by a state. The safeguarding of these rights to the ends that men may speak as they think on matters vital to them and that falsehoods may be exposed through the processes of education and discussion is essential to free government. Those who won our independence had confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning and communication of ideas to discover and spread political and economic truth.
  • 1997, Wendy Grossman, Net.wars, New York University Press, →ISBN, page 90:
    One question that remains is at what point an individual Net poster has the right to assume prerogatives that have traditionally been only the province of journalists and news-gathering organizations. When the Pentagon Papers landed on the doorstep of The New York Times, the newspaper was able to publish under the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech, and to make a strong argument in court that publication was in the public interest. ... the amplification inherent in the combination of the Net's high-speed communications and the size of the available population has greatly changed the balance of power.
  • 1997 November 7, Sam Farr, “Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press”, in Congressional Record:
    Freedom of speech is central to most every other right that we hold dear in the United States and serves to strengthen the democracy of our great country. It is unfortunate, then, when actions occur that might be interpreted as contrary to this honored tenet.


  • 2003, Mike Godwin, Cyber Rights, The MIT Press, →ISBN, page 2:
    The term free speech, which appears in this book's subtitle as well as in its text, is used more or less interchangeably with freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of expression to refer to all of the expressive rights guaranteed by the forty-five words of the First Amendment, as interpreted by the U.S. courts.
  • 2004 March 10, Ron Paul, “An Indecent Attack on the First Amendment”, in Congressional Record:
    Proponents of using government authority to censor certain undesirable images and comments on the airwaves resort to the claim that the airways belong to all the people, and therefore it's the government's responsibility to protect them. The mistake of never having privatized the radio and TV airwaves does not justify ignoring the first amendment mandate that "Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech." When everyone owns something, in reality nobody owns it. Control then occurs merely by the whims of the politicians in power. From the very start, licensing of radio and TV frequencies invited government censorship that is no less threatening than that found in totalitarian societies.
  • 2007, Green, David L., IQuote: Brilliance and Banter from the Internet Age, Globe Pequot, →ISBN, pages 113:
    Mike Godwin (1994): Cyberspace may give freedom of speech more muscle than the First Amendment does. It may already have become literally impossible for a government to shut people up.
  • 2008, Alan Dershowitz, Finding, Framing, and Hanging Jefferson: A Lost Letter, a Remarkable Discovery, and Freedom of Speech in an Age of Terrorism, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 37:
    I care deeply about freedom of speech, but I am also a realist about terrorism and the threat it poses. I worry that among the first victims of another mass terrorist attack will be civil liberties, including freedom of speech. The right of every citizen to express dissident and controversial views remains a powerful force in my life. I not only believe in it, I practice it.

As a vice[edit]

  • 1625, Francis Bacon, “Of Simulation and Dissimulation”, in The essays, or Counsels, civil & moral, with a table of the colours of good and evil. Whereunto is added The wisdome of the ancients, enlarged by the author[2], published 1680:
    For to him that opens himself, Men will hardly shew themselves averse, but will (fair) let him go on, and turn their freedom of speech to freedom of thought. And therefore it is a good shrewd Proverb of the Spaniard, Tell a lye, and find a Troth; as if there were no way of discovery, but by Simulation.