Oliver Wendell Holmes on Free Speech

I heard a great quote this morning attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes I thought I’d share. (emphasis mine)

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought only for those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought we hate.

This was in regards to Supreme Court case United States v. Schwimmer in which a woman was denied citizenship because she would not take the oath because of the “take up arms personally” in defense of the United States” part.

2 thoughts on “Oliver Wendell Holmes on Free Speech

  1. Some of the best things judges say are in their dissents — when they are at their most righteous — as is the case with this one.

    Thanks for this. Sometimes Oliver Wendell Holmes is just what you need to buck you up and remind you that being a lawyer is not all about being a slimeball. xo

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