Saturday, August 29, 2009

Well said...

The right to walk the streets, or to meet publicly with one’s friends for a noble purpose or for no purpose at all—and to do so whenever one pleases—is an integral component of life in a free and ordered society… This right is rooted in the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of expression and association, as well as… the Fifth Amendment’s protection of fundamental liberty interests under the doctrine of substantive due process.

Waters v. Barry (D.D.C.1989) 711 F. Supp. 1125.

The city is free to prevent people from blocking sidewalks, obstructing traffic, littering streets, committing assaults, or engaging in countless other forms of antisocial conduct... The First and Fourteenth Amendments do not permit a State to make criminal the exercise of the right to assembly because its exercise may be 'annoying' to some people. If this were not the rule, the right of the people to gather in public places for social or political purposes would be continually subject to summary suspension through the good-faith enforcement of a prohibition against annoying conduct. And such a prohibition, in addition, contains an obvious invitation to discriminatory enforcement against those whose association together is 'annoying' because their ideas, their lifestyle, or their physical appearance is resented by the majority of the fellow citizens.

Coates v. City of Cincinnati (1971) 402 U.S. 611.

[Those who] can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin

In Republics, the great danger is, that the majority may not sufficiently respect the rights of the minority.

James Madison

Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpation.
James Madison

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