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Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech

Article 16 (1780)

The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth.

Article of Amendment, Article 77 (1948)

Article 16 of the First Part is hereby annulled and the following is adopted in place thereof:

Article XVI. The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth. The right of free speech shall not be abridged.

Precedents, Following Law, and Quotations

Section 12, Virginia Declaration of Rights, Adopted unanimously June 12, 1776, Virginia Convention of Delegates, drafted by Mr. George Mason:

“That the freedom of the press is one of the greatest bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotick Governments.”

 

First Amendment, United States Constitution, became valid as part of the Constitution on Dec. 15, 1791 when ratified by Virginia, the 10th state to approve the first 10 amendments (the Bill of Rights):

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

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