OPINION: Andrew Napolitano - Joe Rogan and the First Amendment

The freedom of speech, however, is a natural right. It comes from within each of us. Its essence is that individuals have a natural right to think as we wish and say what we think and listen to whomever we choose, and we don’t need the approval of the government or a consensus of the loudest.

To those who want to silence Rogan, just imagine what this mess of a country would be like if the loudest voices could silence all others. Freedom thrives on the clash and free flow of ideas. Since 1969, we have succeeded in keeping the government out of the business of censoring and punishing speech; now we must keep the mob out.

Do the Rogan haters really want those bad old days to return? I ask this because the folks who hate and fear Rogan’s ideas really hate and fear his freedom — and their next step will be to use the government to silence him. It is short steps from hatred to silencing to punishing speech.

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A former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Andrew P. Napolitano is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Napolitano has written nine books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty.