„We consider this case against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials.“

—  William J. Brennan, Writing for the court, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964).
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William J. Brennan2
1906 - 1997
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James Callaghan photo

„I think there is a case for opening a national debate on these matters.“

—  James Callaghan Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; 1976-1979 1912 - 2005
Prime Minister, Speech http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1976/oct/14/economic-policy-2 in the House of Commons (14 October 1976), referring to education policy. The phrase "national debate on education" is associated with Callaghan's speech at Ruskin College on 18 October 1976 but appears nowhere in the text; it was however used extensively in pre-briefing for the contents of the speech.

„Public opinion may sometimes direct government to do something, but it more often constrains government from doing something.“

—  John W. Kingdon American political scientist 1940
Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies - (Second Edition), Chapter 3, Outside Government, But Not Just Looking In, p. 65

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John F. Kennedy photo

„I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish — where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source — where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.“

—  John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States of America 1917 - 1963
1960, Speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association, Context: I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish — where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source — where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials — and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all. For while this year it may be a Catholic against whom the finger of suspicion is pointed, in other years it has been, and may someday be again, a Jew — or a Quaker — or a Unitarian — or a Baptist. It was Virginia's harassment of Baptist preachers, for example, that helped lead to Jefferson's statute of religious freedom. Today I may be the victim- -but tomorrow it may be you — until the whole fabric of our harmonious society is ripped at a time of great national peril.

Al Gore photo

„September 11 had a profound impact on all of us. But after initially responding in an entirely appropriate way, the administration began to heighten and distort public fear of terrorism to create a political case for attacking Iraq.“

—  Al Gore 45th Vice President of the United States 1948
Quotes, The Assault on Reason (2007), Context: September 11 had a profound impact on all of us. But after initially responding in an entirely appropriate way, the administration began to heighten and distort public fear of terrorism to create a political case for attacking Iraq. Despite the absence of proof, Iraq was said to be working hand in hand with al-Qaeda and to be on the verge of a nuclear weapons capability. Defeating Saddam was conflated with bringing war to the terrorists, even though it really meant diverting attention and resources from those who actually attacked us. When the president of the United States stood before the people of this nation and invited us to "imagine" a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon, he was referring to terrorists who actually had no connection to Iraq. But because our nation had been subjected to the horrors of 9/11, when our president said "imagine with me this new fear," it was easy enough to bypass the reasoning process that might otherwise have led people to ask, "Wait a minute, Mr. President, where's your evidence?"

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Barney Frank photo

„The issue is not that morals be applied to public policy, it's that conservatives bring public policy to spheres of our lives where it should not enter.“

—  Barney Frank American politician, former member of the House of Representatives for Massachusetts 1940
KUOW.org audio program (7 September 2005) http://www.kuow.org/defaultProgram.asp?ID=9423 (RealAudio)

Merrick Garland photo

„Because nothing has transpired in the last half-century to suggest that the national interest in public disclosure of lobbying information is any less vital than it was when the Supreme Court first considered the issue, we reject that challenge.“

—  Merrick Garland American judge 1952
Court opinions and media comments, [2009, National Association of Manufacturers v. Taylor, Merrick Garland]; quote then cited in: March 18, 2016, The BLT, Appeals Court Rejects Challenge to Lobbying Disclosures, September 8, 2009, Mike Scarcella http://legaltimes.typepad.com/blt/2009/09/appeals-court-rejects-challenge-to-lobbying-disclosures.html,; and also excerpted quote from this source, next cited in: [March 18, 2016, The Quotable Merrick Garland: A Collection of Writings and Remarks, http://www.nationallawjournal.com/home/id=1202752327128/The-Quotable-Merrick-Garland-A-Collection-of-Writings-and-Remarks, Zoe Tillman, The National Law Journal, March 16, 2016, 0162-7325]

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Robertson Davies photo

„If you attack stupidity, you attack an entrenched interest with friends in government and every walk of public life“

—  Robertson Davies Canadian journalist, playwright, professor, critic, and novelist 1913 - 1995
The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks (1949), Context: If you attack stupidity, you attack an entrenched interest with friends in government and every walk of public life, and you will make small progress against it.

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