Need Help with a Quote - Civil Rights and Unpleasant People

Hi, all. I’m looking for a quote I heard a while back - possibly even on this board. The gist of it was that the greatest advances in civil rights came to be through the defense of thoroughly unpleasant people. Does this ring any bells? My Google-Fu, usually a source of pride, is not coming through for me tonight.


It is probably not what you are looking for, but a quote often misattributed to Voltaire goes something like, “I detest what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Here’s a relevant article I just found, by googling civil rights defense of jerks –
I only quickly skimmed it, but perhaps it has something of interest for OP.

Defending The Constitution, And The Right To Be A Jerk, Doug Bandow, Forbes, April 25, 2011. Discussion focuses primarily on Terry Jones, Jerk Extraordinaire of Qu’ran-burning fame.

Thanks for the mental energy on this. I could have sworn I bookmarked this or something. I think it’s part of a SCOTUS ruling, or a side comment from one of the justices.