supreme court equal justice feat
Abrams et al. v. United States

By November 10, 1919

The Supreme Court upholds the convictions of five individuals charged with violating the Espionage Act in Abrams v. United States. The individuals had circulated pamphlets critical of the U.S. government and its involvement in World War I. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes writes 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.” This passage forms the foundation of the “marketplace of ideas” theory of the First Amendment.