Skip to main content

View Diary: American Hate (226 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  re political views (none)
    I presume white supremacists have (stong) policy goals, and the Nazis were/are an actual political party.  Maybe you would find "personal beliefs" to be a better term if you don't think political views applies.  Either way it freaks me out.  

    Justice Holmes said it better than I ever could: "Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition. To allow opposition by speech seems to indicate that you think the speech impotent, as when a man says that he has squared the circle, or that you do not care whole-heartedly for the result, or that you doubt either your power or your premises. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas -- that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country."  Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting).

    I'm not sure how we could formulate a rule to exclude Nazis that wouldn't also exclude Communists.  Followers of Martin Luther King, what with the civil disobedience and all, might end up being excluded.  Plus, if this administration were making the rule, Gannon would be the ONLY one sitting in that press room.

    •  Beautiful (none)
      perhaps the best written and most important defense of Free speech Ever.   My all time favorite judicial opinion and one that should be required reading for every school child from 8th grade on

      Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

      by Magorn on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 08:03:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Too bad no one writes that eloquently anymore (none)
        and too bad Holmes was in the dissent on that one.
        •  But the dissent was quoted (none)
          far more than majority and Brandenburg was based on it  rather than any of the actual majority opinions that came before.   But you do raise a good point.  Where are the intellectual gaints of the current judiciary?  Has the process become so politicized that true greatness is no longer even possible?.

          Knowledge is power Power Corrupts Study Hard Be Evil

          by Magorn on Wed Mar 02, 2005 at 09:49:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  sorry if I was unclear (none)
            I didn't mean it wasn't influential.  I just thought it was a shame some poor defendant (a communist?--I can remember for sure) got the short end of the stick.

            I think we've got still some great legal minds out there, although perhaps more in academia than in the judiciary.  Though even among them, no one writes that beautifully.

          •  Background to Brandenburg vs. Ohio decision (none)
            For what it's worth, it seems to me that the ``trojan horse'' concurrence of Justice Brandeis in Whitney vs. California was just as important a precursor to the decision in Brandenburg as was Justice Holmes' dissent in Abrams. It took almost 40 years, but the seed Brandeis sowed finally bore fruit.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site