He brought 45 First Amendment cases to the United States Supreme Court between 1939 and 1955. His success rate before the court is second only to future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He handled as many as 50 major cases a year and is responsible for much of the First Amendment doctrine we take for granted today. Who was this man — and why have most free speech scholars and activists never heard of him?
On today’s episode of So to Speak: The Free Speech Podcast, we discuss the life and legacy of Hayden C. Covington, who for many years was legal counsel for the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are joined by distinguished First Amendment scholar and recurring So to Speak guest Ronald K.L. Collins. Collins is the author of the Florida International University Law Review article “Thoughts on Hayden C. Covington and the Paucity of Litigation Scholarship.”
- Podcast transcript
- “Thoughts on Hayden C. Covington and the Paucity of Litigation Scholarship” by Ronald K.L. Collins
- Cases discussed: Minersville School District v. Gobitis (1940), Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942), West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council (1976)
- First Amendment News
- “First Things First: A Modern Coursebook on Free Speech Fundamentals” by Ronald K.L. Collins, Will Creeley, and David Hudson (managing editor, Jackie Farmer)
- “We Must Not Be Afraid to Be Free: Stories of Free Expression in America” by Ronald K.L. Collins and Sam Chaltain
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