Friday, July 20, 2018
Discussion of public issues and debates on the qualifications of candidates are integral to the operation of the system of government established by our Constitution. The First Amendment affords the broadest protection to such political expression in order to assure the unfettered interchange of ideas for the bringing about of political and social changes desired by the people. Although First Amendment protections are not confined to the exposition of ideas, there is practically universal agreement that a major purpose of that Amendment was to protect the free discussion of governmental affairs, of course including discussions of candidates. This no more than reflects our profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open. In a republic where the people are sovereign, the ability of the citizenry to make informed choices among candidates for office is essential, for the identities of those who are elected will inevitably shape the course that we follow as a nation.
i like to remin myself of this occasionally.