Meyer v Nebraska: free speech and liberty grow

Until the 1900s, it was rare or never that the Supreme Court or lower courts ruled on the constitutionality of matters implicating free speech.

After World War I, there was anti-German sentiment, and in 1919, Nebraska passed a law forbidding teaching German in school.  Robert Meyer was reading the Bible in German in school and was charged.  The Nebraska court ruled 4 to 2 that the law was good.

The US Supreme court heard the case and part of its ruling began to establish what is considered a right of privacy.  The majority of the court said that the state cannot restrict what we do without good cause and that, there was no good cause to prevent the teaching of German in school.

Moreover, the idea of the reasonableness of restrictions on liberty imposed by a state or the states is subject to supervision by the courts.

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