Justice James Wilson agreed that responsibility was the central issue: What is meant by the liberty of the press is that there should be no antecedent restraint upon it; but that every author is responsible when he attacks the security or welfare of the government, or the safety, character, and property of the individual. The exercise of any freedom without responsibility more often than not leads to licentiousness, and often to tyranny. As illustrated by the following statements, this was never intended: “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” That this Amendment was intended to secure to every citizen an absolute right to speak, or write, or print, whatever he might please without any responsibility, public or private, therefore, is a supposition too wild to be indulged by any rational man. This would allow every citizen a right to destroy at his pleasure the reputation, the peace, the property, and even the personal safety of every other citizen. Joseph Story, U. S. Supreme Court Justice; A Father Of American Jurisprudence
If a printer offends you, attack him in your paper, because he can defend himself with the same weapons with which you wound him; type against type is fair play; but to attack a man who has neither types nor printing press, or who does not know anything about the manual of using them, is cowardly in the highest degree. Benjamin Rush, Signer Of The Declaration “Every citizen might freely speak, write, and print, on any subject, but is responsible for the abuse of that liberty.” Without such a check, the press, in the hands of evil and designing men, would become a most formidable engine instrument as mighty for mischief as for good.
James Kent, A Father Of American Jurisprudence While the issue of the press is really a side note to the central issue of the Kneeland case, it nonetheless underscores the fact that too often today the constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press and speech have been misinterpreted to protect irresponsible and even irrational exercises of personal vindictive prerogatives. Without the requirement of accountability, Justice Joseph Story warned that the press would “become the scourge of the republic, first denouncing the principles of liberty, and then, by rendering the most virtuous patriots odious through the terrors of the press, introducing despotism in its worst form.” John M’Creery’s Lessee v. Allender, 1799 Supreme Court of Maryland Thomas M’Creery emigrated from Ireland to the United States where, upon his death, he left his American estate to a relative in Ireland.
David Barton – The bone was sticking out of the toe in four places. I kind of went into shock and was rushed to the emergency room of the local hospital. Lisa shows up to comfort me. There is blood everywhere. I am really freaking out.