It is firmly settled that under our Constitution the public expression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because the ideas are themselves offensive to some of their hearers.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Street v. New York
In a 1969 case known as Street v. New York (394 US 576), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Free Speech rights of a citizen to burn a U.S. flag as a form of political expression. The important legal point in this case is one often overlooked or denied by censorship proponents: that the right of Free Speech means that some people are going to be offended by what others say, and the simple fact of that offense in no way legitimates the suppression of protected speech. As the court found in this case: