“If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington

“The freedom of speech may be taken away — and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.” – George Washington

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin

“If men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us.” – George Washington

“If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.” – Thomas Jefferson

“To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.” – Frederick Douglass

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire (often quoted by the Founding Fathers)

“No government ought to be without censors and where the press is free no one ever will.” – Thomas Jefferson

“In the First Amendment, the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” – Hugo Black

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.” – William H. Rehnquist

“The freedom of speech is one of our most precious rights, and we’re going to vigorously defend it.” – Julian Assange

“To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.” – James Madison

“In no country can freedom of speech be abolished without being accompanied by slavery.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Without freedom of speech, there is no modern equivalent of a town square, and dissenting voices are silenced. Only the loud and powerful prevail.” – David E. Price

“I believe in free speech, but I also believe that we have an obligation to condemn speech that is racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic, or hateful.” – Bernie Sanders

“The freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand, that fiddled while Rome burned, that allowed our legacy to be eroded by a top-down reordering of the basic pillars of American society?” – Charlie Dent

“Silence is the mother of truth.” – Benjamin Disraeli (often quoted by the Founding Fathers)

“To limit the press is to insult a nation; to prohibit reading of certain books is to declare the inhabitants to be either fools or slaves.” – Claude-Adrien Helvétius (often quoted by the Founding Fathers)

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” – John Milton

“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.” – Herbert Hoover

“A Bill of Rights is what the people are entitled to against every government, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Freedom of speech and thought matters, especially when it is speech and thought with which we disagree.” – Salman Rushdie

“The freedom to criticize judges and other public officials rests on the edge of the sword. The minute you turn your back on reasoning, and begin making fun of the umpire, you have eroded the ground upon which free speech rests.” – Benjamin N. Cardozo

“The only freedom deserving the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.” – John Stuart Mill