My speech is not for sale at any price.
— Deb Mayer

Free Speech Quotes

I began assimilating these quotes as a way of coping with recent court decisions regarding free speech. It is cathartic for me as I begin to realize that my case sets a precedent to absolve other teachers of their rights . . . and their jobs. To deny teachers their right to have meaningful conversations with their students is to deny centuries of history recorded in these eloquent words which with recent court rulings have now become mere platitudes.

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Twenty million American have lost their right of free speech during the Bush administration. To fully realize the difference between George W. Bush and his court in relationship to previous ones, we need only examine their words. Compare this quote from Theodore Roosevelt to a couple from George W. Bush.

Theodore Roosevelt on free speech

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

George W. Bush on free speech

Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty.
and . . .
If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists.

I’d rather live in Roosevelt’s America. Truth be told, America cannot hold herself up as a nation of integrity until her citizens face the facts of what actually happened on September 11, 2001. At the very least we should be able to talk about it without fear and without being called unpatriotic crackpots and conspiracy theorists. If this nation values free speech and truth, its citizens will welcome impassioned debate regarding the evidence, logistics, and science pertaining to the attacks of September 11th.

The Courts, yesterday and today

Compare this quote from Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas to one more recently stated by Antonin Scalia:

William O. Douglas on free speech

The First and Fourteenth Amendments say that Congress and the States shall make “no law” which abridges freedom of speech or of the press. In order to sanction a system of censorship I would have to say that “no law” does not mean what it says, that “no law” is qualified to mean “some” laws. I cannot take this step.

Scalia didn't hesitate a moment to take such a step. He so twists the words and truths held in our Constitution that his “interpretation” completely subverts the law.

Antonin Scalia on free speech

The virtue of a democratic system with a [constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech] is that it readily enables the people, over time, to be persuaded that what they took for granted is not so, and to change their laws accordingly.

I will not be persuaded. I love my country too much to be so easily prevailed upon to accept Scalia’s interpretation of democracy and the Constitution. In today’s vernacular I would say to Mr. Scalia, “What part of ‘make no law’ don’t you understand?”