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US Supreme Court on Freedom of Mind and Irrational Thought

Here are a couple of brief quotes in US Supreme Court rulings about how the First Amendment guarantees freedom of thought and freedom of mind, even to have so-called "irrational" beliefs.

US Supreme Court rulings in:

Democratic Party of U. S. v. Wisconsin:

"And as is true of all expressions of First Amendment freedoms, the courts may not interfere on the ground that they view a particular expression as unwise or irrational."

-- Democratic Party of U. S. v. Wisconsin, 450 U. S. 107, 123-124 (III) (101 SC 1010, 67 LE2d 82) (1981):

West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette:

The First Amendment, declared this Court, gives a constitutional preference for “individual freedom of mind” over “officially disciplined uniformity for which history indicates a disappointing and disastrous end.” At the center of our American freedom, is the “freedom to be intellectually and spiritually diverse.”

“We can have intellectual individualism and the rich cultural diversities that we owe to exceptional minds,” this Court explained, “only at the price of occasional eccentricity and abnormal attitudes.”

-- Excerpts from West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) quoted in

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Leonard Roy Frank

Leonard Roy Frank is a survivor of dozens of brutal forced electroshock and insulin coma. He went on to become one of the foremost activists for human rights of people harmed by electroshock. Leonard is a long-time MindFreedom supporter. He has edited many books including: Frank Quotes (1970), The History of Shock Treatment (1978), Influencing Minds: A Reader in Quotations (1995), Random House Webster's Quotationary (1998), and Random House Webster's Wit & Humor Quotationary (2000).
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