Speech is powerful. It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and...inflict great pain. On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.
10 August 2013
Chief Justice Roberts on free speech
From Chief Justice Roberts' majority opinion in Snyder v. Phelps, 131 S. Ct. 1207 (2011):