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First Amendment in jeopardy

by
Nadine Strossen

The most perennially embattled right was hailed by Justice Holmes as most imperative: “Freedom for the thought that we hate,” including hateful ideas.

That’s why the ACLU lost 15% of its members in 1977-78 when it defended freedom for neo-Nazis in Skokie, Illinois, home to many Jews and Holocaust survivors. That’s also why the ACLU lost supporters when defending free speech for alt-right demonstrators in Charlottesville last year. And that’s why most college students support censoring “hate speech.”

Yet, as President Obama stressed: “[T]he strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech.”

Nadine Strossen, New York Law School Professor and immediate past President, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (1991-2008)

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