Free Speech

Hallmark of a democratic society

Protecting (even obnoxious) speech from government suppression.

“Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.” —U.S. Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo in Palko v. Connecticut

Protecting free speech means protecting a free press, the democratic process, diversity of thought, and so much more. The ACLU has worked since 1920 to ensure that freedom of speech is protected for everyone.

The First Amendment exists precisely to protect the most offensive and controversial speech from government suppression.


San Diego ACLU Seeks Answers Related to Arrests at a Peaceful Vigil at Site of Alfred Olango Killing

SAN DIEGO – In response to a video post by a community member at what appears to be a peaceful vigil at the site of the killing of Alfred Olango, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties sent a letter... Read More


San Diego ACLU Statement on Shooting in El Cajon

The following statement can be attributed to Norma Chavez-Peterson, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties: The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties was concerned to learn of... Read More


ACLUs Across the Land Stand in Solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux

The ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, along with our sister ACLU affiliates, have long been committed to supporting and defending the rights of indigenous people and communities.We recognize the vital... Read More


San Diego ACLU Seeks Public Records Related to SDPD’s Militaristic Tactics at Trump Rally

SAN DIEGO – In response to the community’s objections about San Diego Police Department’s unprecedented show of force at last Friday’s Trump Rally, the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties sent a letter... Read More


Defending Freedom of Speech for Everyone, ACLU Sues UCSD to Enforce First Amendment Rights of the Student Press

Acknowledging that speech may sometimes provoke and offend, the San Diego ACLU filed a lawsuit today against UCSD administrators to enforce core First Amendment rules against targeting the press or taking action based... Read More