The old, classical idea of liberalism embraced freedom of speech. A commitment to liberty meant respecting the right of every person to speak, and it equally meant opposing the use of state power to censor or in any way “chill” freedom of speech.
By the same token, all people were free to associate for the purpose of advancing their peaceful interests and government had no right to interfere either directly or indirectly, such as by compelling the release of membership information.
The leading case in this regard is NAACP v. Alabama. Alabama’s segregationist officials, irked that the NAACP was working against their policies, wanted it silenced and ousted from the state. Toward that goal, it relied upon state law to compel the NAACP to disclose a list with the names and addresses of all its members and agents within the state.
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Once Upon A Time, Free Speech And Association Were Sacred To Liberals.
source – http://www.forbes.com/