From the Collection: The Great Dissent

“How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind-and Changed the History of Free Speech in America”

Though he was known for his skepticism of Constitutional protections of individual rights, in 1919 Justice Holmes wrote the Schenk opinion that created the “clear and present danger” standard by which the government might limit speech, thus greatly expanding the national understanding of protected, free speech. So why would he change his mind? This compelling history explains the influences and circumstances that led Holmes to become a champion of the First Amendment.

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