Freedom of Expression and The United States Supreme Court
How Supreme Court freedom of expression decisions during the 1960s changed American government and politics.
“In his dissenting opinion on a 1919 case, Justice Holmes wrote, ?[W]e should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death…? (Abraham and Perry 157). The case was Abrams v. United States, a freedom of speech case dealing with the distribution of socialist literature during World War I. There were other similar cases in the early part of the 1900s such as Schenck v. United States, Frohwerk v. United States, Debs v. United States, and Gitlow v. New York (Abraham and Perry 154-5, 156, 158). Although these cases laid the foundation for all of the freedom of expression cases that would later come before the Supreme Court, they did little when compared to the free speech cases that came before the Court in the 1960s. While the cases in the early part of the century were important for the precedents that they set, freedom of expression cases during the 1960s changed American government and politics. Supreme Court decisions on freedom of expression cases during the 1960s placed never before seen limits on governmental power and guaranteed the protection of several fundamental rights.”