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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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Rae Unzicker & Justin Dart

Rae (1948-2001) was a psychiatric survivor activist who was a key bridge-builder between the entire disability movement and our movement to change the mentalh health system. Rae championed the National Council on Disability (NCD) report, From Privileges to Rights: People Labeled with Psychiatric Disabilities Speaking For Themselves. Rae is shown here with her beloved Justin Dart (1930 - 2002), widely considered one of the key disability activists of the last century, and also a bridge builder between our movements. Both Rae and Justin were MFI members. (Photo by Cookie Gant)
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