Quotations about   free speech

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



It’s no trick to support the free speech of somebody you agree with or to whose opinion you are indifferent. The defense of free speech begins at the point when people say something you can’t stand. If you can’t defend their right to say it, then you don’t believe in free speech.

Salman Rushdie (b. 1947) Indian novelist
“Do we have to fight the battle for the Enlightenment all over again?” The Independent (22 Jan 2005)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Mar-18 | Last updated 7-Mar-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Rushdie, Salman

Everybody favors free speech in the slack moments when no axes are being ground.

Heywood Broun (1888-1939) American journalist, author
New York World (23 Oct 1926)
Added on 17-May-16 | Last updated 17-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Broun, Heywood

Whatever may be the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to that safety arising from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish. Freedom is always wise. That is the faith, the experimental faith, by which we Americans have undertaken to live. If we, the citizens of today, cannot shake ourselves free from the hysteria which blinds us to that faith, there is little hope for peace and security, either at home or abroad.

Alexander Meiklejohn (1872-1964) Philosopher, university administrator, civil libertarian
Testimony before the Senate Sub-Committee on Constitutional Rights (1955)
Added on 28-Aug-15 | Last updated 28-Aug-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Meiklejohn, Alexander

The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth.
.

Anthony Kennedy (b. 1936) US Supreme Court Justice
United States v. Alvarez, 567 U. S. ____, *16 (2012) [Plurality]
Added on 23-Apr-15 | Last updated 23-Apr-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, Anthony

How important are free speech and satire? Important enough that people will murder others to silence the kind of speech they don’t like.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British fabulist
Twitter (7 Jan 2014)
    (Source)

Regarding the mass murder at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.
Added on 13-Jan-15 | Last updated 13-Jan-15
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Gaiman, Neil

If Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.

George Washington (1732-1799) American military leader, Founding Father, US President (1789-1797)
Speech to the Officers at Newburgh (15 Mar 1783)
    (Source)
Added on 1-May-14 | Last updated 1-May-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Washington, George

To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) American abolitionist, orator, writer
“A Plea for Freedom of Speech in Boston,” speech (9 Dec 1860)
Added on 30-Apr-14 | Last updated 30-Apr-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Douglass, Frederick

I believe in an America where the rights that I have described are enjoyed by all, regardless of their race or their creed or their national origin — where every citizen is free to think and speak as he pleases and write and worship as he pleases — and where every citizen is free to vote as he pleases, without instructions from anyone, his employer, the union leader or his clergyman.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, Philadelphia (31 Oct 1960)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Apr-14 | Last updated 21-Apr-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, John F.

Everybody is in favor of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
Speech, House of Commons (13 Oct 1943)
Added on 28-Mar-14 | Last updated 28-Mar-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Churchill, Winston

The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935) American jurist, Supreme Court Justice
Schenck v. United States (3 Mar 1919)
    (Source)
Added on 21-Sep-07 | Last updated 3-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Holmes, Jr., Oliver Wendell

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime.

Potter Stewart (1915-1985) US Supreme Court Justice (1959-81)
United States v. Ginzburg, 383 U.S. 463 (1965) [Dissenting]
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Jul-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Stewart, Potter

The First Amendment is often inconvenient. But that is beside the point. Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its obligation to tolerate speech.

Anthony Kennedy (b. 1936) US Supreme Court Justice
International Society for Krishna Consciousness v. Lee, 505 U.S. 672 (26 Jun 1992) [concurring[
    (Source)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 17-Jul-14
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, Anthony