Case law salient quotes concerning the First Amendment and the Campus

“The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution afford to the citizen and to the press an absolute, unconditional privilege to criticize official conduct despite the harm which may flow from excesses and abuses…. The theory of our Constitution is that every citizen may speak his mind and every newspaper express its view on matters of public concern, and may not be barred from speaking or publishing because those in control of government think that what is said or written is unwise, unfair, false, or malicious.” — Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg, in concurrence with the New York Times v. Sullivan decision, 1964

“That they are educating the young for citizenship is reason for scrupulous protection of Constitutional freedoms of the individual, if we are not to strangle the free mind at its source and teach youth to discount important principles of our government as mere platitudes.” — Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, West Virgina v. Barnett, 1943

“First amendment rights, applied in the light of the special characteristics of the school environment, are available to teachers and students. It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate. This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years.” — Justice Abe Fortas, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, 1969

“Standard First Amendment doctrine condemns content control by governmental bodies where the government sponsors and financially supports certain facilities through the use of which others are allowed to communicate and to exercise their own right of expression. Government is allowed to impose restrictions only as to “time, place, or manner” in the use of such public access facilities — public forums…. If the state is conducting an activity that functions as a marketplace of ideas, the Constitution requires content neutrality. Thus, a state university may not override editorial freedom for student newspapers.” — Second Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, Muir v. Alabama Educational Television Commission, 1982

“Vital First Amendment speech principles are at stake here. The first danger to liberty lies in granting the State the power to examine publications to determine whether or not they are based on some ultimate idea and if so for the State to classify them. The second, and corollary danger is to speech from the chilling of individual thought and expression. That danger is expecially real in the university setting, where the State acts against a background and tradition of thought and experiment that is at the center of our intellectual and philosophic tradition.” — Justice Anthony Kennedy, Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia, 1995.