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Journal Article

"Freedom for the Thought That We Hate": Is It a Principle of the Constitution?

Frederick Bernays Wiener
American Bar Association Journal
Vol. 37, No. 3 (March 1951), pp. 177-180, 241-245
Published by: American Bar Association
Stable URL: http:/stable/25717572
Page Count: 9
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"Freedom for the Thought That We Hate": Is It a Principle of the Constitution?
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Abstract

"Freedom for the thought that we hate" is a phrase from Justice Holmes' dissenting opinion in United States v. Schwimmer, where an alien was denied citizenship because she refused to profess her willingness to bear arms in defense of the United States. The phrase has now been appropriated by Communists, fellow travelers and others who seek to throw a cloak of constitutional immunity about the shoulders of men who advocate the overthrow of the United States Government. In this article, Mr. Wiener examines this constitutional argument, tracing its course from the records of the Constitutional Convention through the philosophy of Jefferson and the opinions of Holmes and Brandeis to Judge Learned Hand's opinion in United States v. Dennis, handed down last August.

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