Position that protections given by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are absolute, not subject to qualification or abridgement in any way.
Among the Supreme Court justices who could be called First Amendment absolutists is Justice Hugo L. Black
Justice William O. Douglas
The First Amendment can be separated into three divisions: the religion clauses (establishment and freedom), the speech and press clauses, and the clauses guaranteeing peaceable assembly and the right to petition. Most of the Court’s First Amendment decisions relate to speech and press, and a substantial number of cases relate to religion. Only a handful are about assembly and petition rights.
The Court clearly stated that no absolute freedom of speech
When Justice Joseph Story, a friend and colleague of Chief Justice John Marshall, wrote his commentaries on the law, he argued that the government has a right to protect its survival, and the Court upheld that line of reasoning in American Communications Association v. Douds
The Court comes closest to the absolutist position when it rules on religion
Neither the right to assemble
Alderman, Ellen, and Caroline Kennedy. In Our Defense: The Bill of Rights in Action. New York: Morrow, 1991. Black, Hugo LaFayette. One Man’s Stand for Freedom: Mr. Justice Black and the Bill of Rights. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. Dennis, Everett, Donald M. Gillmore, and David L. Grey, eds. Justice Hugo Black and the First Amendment: “’No law’ means no law.” Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1978. Duran, James C. Justice William O. Douglas. Boston: Twayne, 1981. Fellman, David. The Constitutional Rights of Association. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963. Hocking, William Ernest. Freedom of the Press: A Framework of Principle. New York: Da Capo Press, 1972. Levy, Beth, and Denise M. Bonilla. The Power of the Press. Bronx, N.Y.: H. W. Wilson, 1999. Miller, William Lee. The First Liberty: Religion and the American Republic. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986. St. John, Jeffrey. Forge of Union, Anvil of Liberty: A Correspondent’s Report on the First Federal Elections, the First Federal Congress, and the Bill of Rights. Ottawa, Ill.: Jameson Books, 1992. Smolla, Rodney A. Free Speech in an Open Society. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.
Assembly and association, freedom of
Black, Hugo L.
Douglas, William O.
First Amendment balancing
Petition, right of
Religion, establishment of
Religion, freedom of
Speech and press, freedom of