It is almost certainly no accident that freedom of speech is one of the very first freedoms listed in the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The Constitution’s framers believed that freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression were the hallmarks of a democratic society.

The First Amendment exists precisely to protect all forms of expression, from political dissent to even the most offensive and controversial speech, from government suppression. The best way to counter obnoxious speech is with more speech, not censorship.

From defending the speech rights of protesters during events like the 2003 FTAA ministerial meetings in Miami and the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, to ensuring that groups have the right to express themselves no matter what the content of their speech, the ACLU of Florida has been instrumental in challenging government efforts to silence protest groups and stifle freedom of expression.