How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed Free Speech in America

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thomas Healy reveals how the Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes became a free‑speech advocate and established the modern understanding of the First Amendment. A lifelong skeptic, Holmes disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views, but in 1919, he wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States. The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America is a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking.


Thomas Healy
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Comments [3]

Robert Kesten

This is the perfect companion book to The Bully Pulpit by Kearns Goodwin...reading one, looking forward to reading the other.

Dec. 17 2013 04:53 PM
Wayne Johnson Ph.D. from Bk

Bravo to Professor Healy for seeing that the press is often the enemy of free speech (Manning, Snowden are great examples). Boy is this timely, given the blistering decision by conservative U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon against the NSA spying apparatus.

Dec. 17 2013 01:58 PM
John A

Too difficult to link this to Citizens United?

Dec. 17 2013 01:55 PM

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