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 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

ACLU Raises Concerns about County’s “Free Speech Zone” Proposal

  An ordinance being proposed to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors tomorrow to create “free speech zones” for protests outside the County Administration Center raises serious free speech concerns that... Read More

Free Speech

A Man Faces Life in Prison for … Rapping

****************************************** UPDATE! March 16, 2015 A judge dismissed all charges against San Diego rapper and another man who were accused under a conspiracy law under which District Attorney Bonnie... Read More


Yes, Robert, There Is Free Expression

  Today, in another stand for free expression, the San Diego ACLU successfully defended the right of a middle school student to wear a t-shirt to school that some may find offensive, but represents classic... Read More