Abrams v. United States
In Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 40 S.Ct. 17, 63 L.Ed. 1173 (1919), the Supreme Court affirmed the conviction of a group of Russian "rebels, revolutionists, [and] anarchists," id., at 617-618, 40 S.Ct. 17, on the ground that the leaflets they distributed were thought to "incite, provoke, and encourage resistance to the United States," id., at 617, 40 S.Ct. 17.
Yet Justice Holmes' dissent-which has emphatically carried the day-never inquired into the reasonableness of the United States' judgment that the leaflets would likely undermine the war effort. The dissent instead ridiculed that judgment: "nobody can suppose that the surreptitious publishing of a silly leaflet by an unknown man, without more, would present any immediate danger that its opinions would hinder the success of the government arms or have any appreciable tendency to do so." Id., at 628, 40 S.Ct. 17.