At the heart of the First Amendment lies the principle that each person should decide for him or herself the ideas and beliefs deserving of expression, consideration, and adherence. Our political system and cultural life rest upon this ideal. Government action that stifles speech on account of its message, or that requires the utterance of a particular message favored by the Government, contravenes this essential right. Laws of this sort pose the inherent risk that the Government seeks not to advance a legitimate regulatory goal, but to suppress unpopular ideas or information or manipulate the public debate through coercion rather than persuasion.

Anthony Kennedy (b. 1936) US Supreme Court Justice
Turner Broadcasting System v. FCC, 114 S. Ct. 2445, 2458, Unanimous Opinion, sec. II-B (27 Jun 1994)

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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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