Nov 30, 2023·edited Nov 30, 2023Liked by Jeffrey Aaron Snyder, Amna Khalid

This is jarring and wonderful at the same time. A great example of the urgent need to complicate the narrative and listen to opinions that provoke both curiosity and discomfort.

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Nov 30, 2023Liked by Jeffrey Aaron Snyder, Amna Khalid

This is reassuring. At least one student has grown and learned and reassessed her views thanks to your course. Bravo!

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Aishwarya's thinking and writing are impressive! They outstandingly illustrate why the Framers of the original Constitution promptly amended it to include the First Amendment. Speaking of judging, I was impressed at how Aishwarya provided a powerful, modern take on one of our most powerful legal opinions written by one of our greatest legal minds--who started out frighteningly far from being a friend of the freedom of speech. As Jacob Mchangama highlighted in his podcast (Clear and Present Danger), Justice Holmes's change of mind helped save our minds and resuscitate our freedom to speak our minds.

Aishwarya's thinking and writing were powerfully reminiscent of Holmes's powerful reminders of the weaknesses of our own minds (limited by our own passions and prejudices):

"Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition. . . . But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas . . . [because] truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution."

That was Justice Holmes dissenting against the voices of the majority of justices in Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919). Perhaps, it is not entirely merely coincidental that Justice Holmes emphasized those particular points the same year that the Nineteenth Amendment was approved by the men in both houses of Congress and then submitted to the men in each state for ratification (after some very courageous, very strong-willed women had thought, spoke and fought long and hard to make essentially the same points).

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