Justice Anthony KennedyJustice Anthony Kennedy, (1936-) Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1988-2018)

Justice Anthony Kennedy Quote

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

Justice Anthony KennedyJustice Anthony Kennedy
~ Justice Anthony Kennedy

Ratings and Comments

  • Reply
Jim    2/16/09

Too bad he's not as tolerant when it comes to the second.

Mike, Norwalk

He speaks as though government is an organic body with inherent rights, aloof from We The People, where toleration is graded by self interpretation instead of government being a mere servant of We The People with duties only to respect each individual's lawful speech.

  • Reply
Anon    7/20/09

The government in our country is not government. We the people are self governors and our public servants are just that, servants hired for the job, by upholding their oaths, of protecting our natural right to govern and control ourselves thus our lives.

J Carlton, Calgary

"Obligation to TOLERATE free speech"? What an a**hole.

  • Reply
RBESRQ    7/20/09

I think we have bashed this one. Eric (editor) are you writing a book on the subject? The intent of statement is worth 5 stars.

Ken, Allyn, WA

Our Constitution which gives our government its permission to exist tells us that Congress "shall make no law" abridging the right of free speech. It is not up to government to tolerate anything from the citizens. It is the citizens who tolerate government and allow it to be. Kennedy has never struck me as a deep thinker and has always been a mediocre legal mind.

Elisabeth, Astoria, NY

The intent of the quote may not be bad, but the quote lacks that Jeffersonian style that made The United States of America - and of the Americans'.

E Archer, NYC

Good comments by all. It just goes to show the eroding of the principles of our subservient government -- on the one hand he sounds like he is standing up for the right to free speech but uses the word 'tolerance' instead of the more appropriate legal terminology: "Inconvenience does not absolve the government of its Constitutional obligation to make no law abridging the right of free speech."


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