1944 March 9

Harry Weinberger Dies; Major Civil Liberties Lawyer in WW I


Harry Weinberger was a New York City lawyer who handled many civil liberties cases during World War I. He handled the case of Abrams v. United States, decided on November 10, 1919, which prompted an extremely important dissent by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, with Justice Louis Brandeis concurring, that influenced the development of free speech law.

Despite his important role in the World War I years, Weinberger is largely forgotten today, and there is little written about him.

Read about the Abrams case: Richard Polenberg, Fighting Faiths: The Abrams Case, The Supreme Court, and Free Speech (1987)

Read about the full history of freedom of speech in wartime: Geoffrey Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism (2004)

Read about Weinberger’s role in the important Abrams case: http://www.rightsmatter.org/teachers/chapter10.html

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