The First Amendment to our Constitution protects five fundamental values of our society – religion, speech, press, and the right to petition and assemble. Our unwavering commitment to these principles has withstood tough battles throughout our history and has remained a cornerstone of our democracy.
Our nation is strongest when we come together to understand, support, and celebrate one another’s differences – this includes differences of religion. Hate-filled speech or actions that pit people of various faiths against one another is not only unacceptable, it is inconsistent with our founding ideals. Unfortunately, despite all of the progress we’ve made, it is clear that more work remains to ensure all Americans feel safe to worship how they so choose.
In 1860, Frederick Douglass said, “to suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker." During a time when the media is under attack from the Administration, simply for doing its job and holding those in government accountable for their actions, it is important to acknowledge what an important role free press and speech play in our democracy each and every day.
In order to support an open and transparent government that works on behalf of the American people, we must continue to protect the First Amendment from efforts to restrict or suppress information. We must ensure that the public has the resources and opportunities needed to understand governmental action and respond accordingly by voting, assembling, protesting, and sharing ideas with others.
Rep. Quigley spoke on the House Floor defending free press on World Press Freedom Day.
Rep. Quigley visited Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago as part of his Unity in Diversity Faith Tour.
Rep. Quigley spoke on the House Floor about need to promote equality, opportunity, and justice for all, while combatting all forms of hatred.
More on First Amendment
America is experiencing a moment of national anguish, as we grieve for those killed by police brutality and racial injustice. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery should all still be alive today. Black Americans have spent decades demanding change and despite this, we continue to see unarmed African Americans killed time and time again. Going for a jog, a walk, a drive, going bird watching, or simply being in your own home should not be a death sentence for black Americans.
The U.S. democratic process is under attack.