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Holmes的Abram dissenting opinion

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這是Kiki去年畫的圖。





 

在準備上課資料,再讀到Holmes大法官關於言論自由這幾段話,真是感動,甚至被他的文字魅力震撼到熱淚盈眶!

在那個「反戰就是叛國」的年代,在那個「言論自由」從來保障不了任何人的時代,在愛國主義高漲的美國,在每年都把許多批評戰爭政策的人送進監獄的法院,Holmes大法官在Abram v. United States, 250 U.S. 616 (1919)案的判決,寫了鏗鏘有力,餘音繞樑的不同意見書。他認為單純批評政府政策,不該受到處罰。其中這一段文字,不管在文采或是理論層次,都是注定流傳千古的「言論自由」名言:

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-that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market...

That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country.

“Freedom for the Thought that We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment”的作者,也是紐約時報記者的Anthony Lewis就在書中指出,有史以來從來沒有任何法官寫得出 It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death這樣的文字。Lewis認為”Holmes was the closest we have had to a poet judge.”

雖然這只是一個「不同意見書」,現實上救不了本案的被告。但最高法院另外三位大法官,加上Holmes的夫人,一同努力勸他撤回這篇不同意見。但Holmes,這位南北戰爭中曾三度重傷,去世時衣櫃裡懸掛著軍服的前北軍軍人,依然堅持發表這篇意見書有史以來第一篇堅決保障異議的法院意見書。

自此,他和另一位風格、哲學、行動都頗不相同的Brandeis大法官,在一連串言論自由案件中,聯手寫了許多令人集節讚賞的不同意見書。

(不過,不到一年前,這位在美國法律史上簡直有「神」之地位的Holmes大法官,還毫不猶豫地在三個案件中,支持把和平反戰者或單純同情反戰者的人判處重刑。)

 

 


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