Thursday, December 23, 2010

A historical perspective on the unconstitutionality of the Supreme Court

from David Henderson:
In one of its most shameful decisions, Schenck v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 9-0 to uphold the Espionage Act's restrictions on free speech. Indeed it was in the Schenck decision that Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes made his famous statement that, "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre." Great line, but Holmes never connected it with the case at hand. Schenck was arguing against the military draft on the grounds that it violated the Thirteenth Amendment by imposing involuntary servitude. Holmes never said how that it was like falsely crying fire. It seems to me that there was a fire.

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