William O. DouglasWilliam O. Douglas, (1898-1980), U. S. Supreme Court Justice

William O. Douglas Quote

“But our society -- unlike most in the world -- presupposes that freedom and liberty are in a frame of reference that makes the individual, not government, the keeper of his tastes, beliefs, and ideas; that is the philosophy of the First Amendment; and it is this article of faith that sets us apart from most nations in the world.”

William O. DouglasWilliam O. Douglas
~ William O. Douglas

dissenting, Paris Adult Theatre I v. Slaton

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Calgary

Times have certainly changed... I guess we should stop saying "Land of the Free" and maybe replace it with "Home of the Police State"...because the only we're leading in now is the race towards global slavery. Unless of course, Americans start acting like Americans again... 5 stars for the sentiment behind the quote.

jim k, Austin, Tx

The current "Dictator in Chief" isn't bothered with trivials like the first First Amendment or any of the other parts of the Constitution. After all, the King of the World can do what he pleases by Excutive Order.

E Archer, NYC

Well said. It is the INDIVIDUAL that is paramount, not the collective. That is the quintessential difference between a society that respects freedom vs. a society that imposes the will of a committee.

Mike, Norwalk

Not shooting the messenger (the despot said one thing and did another - very artful at saying many truths until the greatest of lies is believed), the statement on its face is very accurate (but, no longer). The vast majority of today's individuals are touting the same verbiage while pursuing greater and greater amounts enslavement through a socialist theocracy. Patrons of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land genuflect before compelled compliance, government licensing, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (2nd plank of the communist manifesto, Social Security, police State confiscations, etc.), alienation of nature's endowed rights and all else that makes government - not the individual, the keeper of tastes (PC), beliefs, ideas and philosophy.

Robert, Somewhere in the USA

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

E Archer, NYC
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E Archer, NYC Robert, Somewhere in the USA 11/25/22

They forgot, "Unless determined by the government to be hate speech or misinformation..."

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

It would be pleasant for our environment to tolerate education so an individual in a United States Supreme Court Justice position would make some sense 


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