FREEDOM OF THOUGHT & THE FIRST
The United States Supreme Court has
"Freedom of thought... is the matrix, the
indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom. With rare
aberrations a pervasive recognition of this truth can be traced in our
history, political and legal" (Palko v. Connecticut (1937) 302 U.S.
Without freedom of thought, the First Amendment right to
freedom of speech is moot, because you can only express what you can think.
Constraining or censoring how a person thinks (cognitive censorship) is the
most fundamental kind of censorship, and is contrary to some of our most
cherished constitutional principles.
In 2003, the CCLE filed
a legal brief on the relationship between
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, and psychotropic drugs in the United
States Supreme Court. We are now examining other aspects of the First
Amendment that protect freedom of thought. Scientists, for example, are
discovering that nearly everyone engages in what they are terming "internal
speech." We use language to navigate within our own thoughts. The CCLE is
examining whether the freedom of speech protects "internal speech." (We
think it does, and we're working to prove it).
In addition, while
most people are capable of shutting their eyes and thereby blocking out
external images, it is not so easy to shut one's ears. New technology like
Hypersonic Sound -- which transmits a beam of sound that is silent until you
walk into it -- is raising the question of what rights people have to
internal auditory integrity. If the First Amendment blocks the government
from putting words in a person's mouth, does it also block the government
from putting words in a person's head? (We think it does, and we're working
to prove it).
brief on Freedom of Thought and the First Amendment
Listen Up: Unusual Forms of Sound to Emanate From RNC
By Amanda Onion, ABCNews.com, Aug. 25, 2004
Woody Norris has a way of getting inside your head...
By David Sparrow,
Sound of Things to Come
By Marshall Sella, New York Times Magazine, Mar. 23, 2003
Woody Norris' home page: the inventor
By Jame Reno and N'Gai Croul, Newsweek, Aug. 5, 2002