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The First Amendment


The “right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people,” James Madison wrote, “has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.”

That is why, in 1927, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis established the inspiring principle that under the First Amendment, speech can only be restricted by the government if it’s intended to and likely to cause imminent violence.

As a result of the framers’ vision, America today protects more free speech from government restriction – from hate speech on college campuses to offensive videos on YouTube – than any other country.

Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, National Constitution Center, and Professor, The George Washington University Law School

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