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Free Speech

Selected and introduced by Joseph R. Fornieri


Free Speech: Core Court Cases is the third of three planned volumes of Supreme Court cases in the Ashbrook Center’s extended series of document collections covering major periods, themes, and institutions in American history and government. It was preceded by Religious Liberty: Core Court Cases and The Supreme Court: Core Cases. Together, these volumes provide an indispensable education in both the Court’s role in American history and in its reasoning about our most fundamental freedoms. The goal of this documentary volume is to provide students with the basic texts and tools for understanding the Supreme Court’s evolving jurisprudence on the First Amendment rights of speech, press, assembly, and association. Free speech can only be preserved through a “First Amendment Culture” that understands, cherishes, and jealously guards its preferred place in our democracy. This volume hopes to contribute in some small way to that worthy cause.


Table of Contents

Documents Include:

  • Schenck v. United States, 1919
  • Near v. Minnesota, 1931
  • Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 1942
  • Dennis v. United States, 1951
  • New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 1964
  • New York Times Co. v. United States, 1971
  • Bethel School District v. Fraser, 1986
  • Texas v. Johnson, 1989
  • Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 1997
  • Virginia v. Black, 2003
  • Morse v. Frederick, 2007
  • Snyder v. Phelps, 2011
  • Matal v. Tam, 2017