Mark Schmucker taught me about freedom. United States v. Schmucker II taught me about institutional power.
The security we derive from liberty depends upon its exercise. Freedom is like a social muscle. It atrophies with disuse. First amendment liberties have been described as ‘hazardous freedoms.’ Are the freedoms hazardous to entrenched and insecure governments, hazardous to the very idea of government, or hazardous to those few who take them seriously enough to rely upon them to act? Good government depends upon the hazard of open dissent. Well-developed theories behind freedom of expression support a thesis that free expression is good precisely because it challenges the government to reassess its policies and to adapt to dissent as a positive influence. If so, it is peculiarly inappropriate to penalize those whose strength of idea and character permits the effective utilization of this liberty.
- First Amendment,
- Selective Service,
- conscientious objector