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"The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theatre, and causing a panic. It does not even protect a man from an injunction against uttering words that may have all the effect of force. The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent. It is a question of proximity and degree." Schenck v. United States (249 US 47; 39 S. Ct 247; 63 L. Ed 470 (1919)). The opinion was written by Holmes.

From _The First Amendment Book_ by Robert J. Wagmam, p. 157:

'The Supreme Court's most ringing recent defense of freedom of the press came in 1988 (_Hustler Magazine v. Falwell_) when the Rev. Jerry Falwell tried to recover damages from _Hustler, charging the magazine and its publisher, Larry Flynt, with "intentional infliction of emotional injury." Falwell said he suffered emotional trauma after reading a vicious cartoon parody about himself in the sex magazine. The cartoon implied that Falwell had had sex with his mother in an outhouse. Effectively, what Falwell tried was an end run about libel law. He was clearly a public figure, and rather than have to prove{actual malice and loss of reputation (the parody was so ridiculous and extreme that no sane person could have believe it, and thus there was not lose of reputation), Falwell sought to prove that there had been an intentional infliction of emotional distress on the part of _Hustler and to try to collect on that tort basis. But the Court struck down the attempt. Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote that "in public debate our own citizens must tolerate insulting, and even outrageous speech in order to provide adequate breathing space to the freedoms protected by the First Amendment."'

excerpts from Justice Harlan's opinion (for the Court): [from NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958) in which the govt. attempted to subpoena the membership list of the NAACP

"It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the "liberty" assured by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech ....

It is hardly a novel perception that compelled disclosure of affiliation with groups engaged in advocacy may constitute [an effective] restraint on freedom of association. [There is a] vital relationship between freedom to association and privacy in one's associations. [Inviolability] of privacy in group association may in many circumstances be indispensable to preservation of freedom of association, particularly where a group espouses dissident beliefs ....

We think that the production order, in the respects here drawn in question, must be regarded as entailing the likelihood of a substantial restraint upon the exercise by [the NAACP's] members of their right to freedom of association. [The NAACP] has made an uncontroverted showing that on past occasions revelation of the identity of its rank-and-file members has exposed these members to economic reprisal, loss of employment, threat of physical coercion, and other manifestations of public hostility. Under these circumstances, we think it apparent that compelled disclosure of [the NAACP's] Alabama membership is likely to affect adversely the ability of [the NAACP] and its members to pursue their collective effort to foster beliefs which they admittedly have the right to advocate, in that it may induce members to withdraw from the Association and dissuade others from joining it because of fear of exposure of their beliefs shown through their association and of the consequences of their exposure ...."

* * * unanimous Court ruled that the state of Alabama could not compel the NAACP to reveal to the state's attorney general the names and addresses of all its Alabama members. The Court held that compelling the disclosure of the names of members would violate the citizens right of association which is derived from freedom of speech and assembly.

- Although NAACP v. Alabama (1958) involved a request for membership records by a government official, courts have ruled that a civil subpoena may raise Constitutional issues as the state may be called upon to enforce the request.

NAACP v. Alabama is one of the noteworthy Supreme Court cases where privacy protection is viewed as an integral part of the First Amendment. (Talley v. California (1960), involving the distribution of anonymous leaflets, and Stanley v. Georgia (1972), involving the right to possess literature in one's home are two others).

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