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Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire (1942)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 02/05/1942
Decided 3/9/1942
Supreme Court Vote 9-0
Note Court announces "two-tier" theory of the First Amendment. Since Chaplinsky was handed down, the Court has never sustained a conviction for "fighting words" in expression directed at a public official.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Murphy, J.
Lower Court New Hampshire Supreme Court
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied.
For Petitioner
Hayden C. Covington, of Brooklyn, New York

For Respondent
Frank R. Kenison, of Conway, New Hampshire

News Stories & Commentary
Editorial, Washington Post, "'Fighting Words,'" March 12, 1942, p. 14
New York Times, "No 'Right' to Curse, High Court Rules," March 10, 1942, p. 21
Opinion - Lower Court
State v. Chaplinsky, 91 N.H. 310, 18 A.2d 754 (1941)
AP, "Supreme Court won't hear dispute over cursing at cops"

Bollinger, Lee, THE TOLERANT SOCIETY (1986), pp. 31-32, 179-182
Gard, Stephen W. , "Fighting Words as Free Speech," 58 Washington University Law Quarterly 531 (1980)
Greenawalt, Kent, FIGHTING WORDS (1995), pp. 50-53
Haiman, Franklin S., "How Much of Our Speech is Free?," The Civil Liberties Review, 1975, p. 11
Herbeck, Dale, "Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire," in FREE SPEECH ON TRIAL (2003), Richard A. Parker, ed., pp. 85-99

Mannheimer, Michael, "The Fighting Words Doctrine," 93 Columbia Law Review 1527 (1993)
Note, "The Demise of the Chaplinsky Fighting Words Doctrine," 106 Harvard Law Review 1129 (1993)
Shamam, Jeffrey , "The Theory of Low-Value Speech," 48 Southern Methodist University Law Review 297 (1995)
Smolla, Rodney, SMOLLA & NIMMER ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH (1994), sect. 3.04[2][a]
Tribe, Laurence, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (2nd ed., 1988), pp. 837-841
Wertheimer, Aviva, "The First Amendment Distinction Between Conduct & Content: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Fighting Words Jurisprudence," 63 Fordham Law Review 793 (1994)
Wiecek, William M., THE BIRTH OF THE MODERN CONSTITUTION: THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT, 1941-1953 (Holmes Devise, vol. XII, 2006), pp. 159-168
Wirenius, John , "The Road Not Taken: The Curse of Chaplinsky," 24 Capital University Law Review 331 (1995)
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