By Rodney A. Smolla

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” This biblical verse, from the Christian New Testament Gospel of John, is etched into the wall of the original main building of the Central Intelligence Agency, expressing a secular faith in the altruistic mission of intelligence agencies in a free society. Thus, the darkest and most secretive of all agencies in modern American government, the Central Intelligence Agency, draws missionary sustenance from a scriptural source.

In this 100th anniversary tribute by the Southern Methodist University Law Review to the famous opinions of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in Schenck v. United States and Abrams v. United States, I seek to explore competing conceptions of what Americans might mean by the notion that the “truth shall make you free.”

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Recommended Citation
Rodney A. Smolla, “And the Truth Shall Make You Free”: Schenck, Abrams, and a Hundred Years of History, 72 SMU L. Rev. 457 (2019).