Sampling of Opinions

FOLLOWING are excerpts from majority or concurring opinions written by Justice William Brennan Jr. OBSCENITY

``... This Court has always assumed that obscenity is not protected by the freedoms of speech and press. ... All ideas having even the slightest redeeming social importance - unorthodox ideas, controversial ideas, even ideas hateful to the prevailing climate of opinion - have the full protection of the guaranties ... [but] obscenity [is] utterly without redeeming social importance.'' (Roth v. United States, 1957) EQUAL REPRESENTATION, REAPPORTIONMENT

Holding that the courts have the authority to strike down state-approved legislative district lines: ``The mere fact that a suit seeks protection of a political right does not mean it presents a political question. ... The right asserted is within the reach of judicial protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.'' (Baker v. Carr, 1962) LIBEL, PRESS PROTECTION

``The constitutional guarantees require ... a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with actual malice - that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.'' (New York Times v. Sullivan, 1964) PRIVACY

``The marital couple is not an independent entity with a mind and heart of its own, but an association of two individuals each with separate intellectual and emotional makeup. If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.'' (Eisenstadt v. Baird, 1972) FLAG BURNING

``If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive and disagreeable.'' (Texas v. Johnson, 1989) AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, MEDIA DIVERSITY

``We do not believe that minority ownership policies ... impose impermissible burdens on nonminorities. ... The [Federal Communications] Commission's policies bear the imprimatur of long-standing Congressional support and direction, and are substantially related to the achievement of the important governmental objective of broadcast diversity.'' (Metro Broadcasting Inc. v. FCC, 1990)

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