100 Americans Making Constitutional History: A Biographical History presents 100 profiles of the key people behind some of the most important U.S. Supreme Court cases. Edited by Melvin I. Urofsky, a respected constitutional historian, each 2,000-word profile delves into the social and political context behind landmark Court decisions. For example, while a case like Brown v. Board of Education is about an important idea—the equal protection of the law—at its heart it is the story of a little girl, Linda Brown, who wanted to go to a decent school near her home. The outcome is accessible and objective “stories” about the individuals—heroes and scoundrels—who fought their way to constitutional history.

Charlotte Anita Whitney

Charlotte Anita Whitney

Free Speech for Radicals

“If Belief in Self-Expression … is Criminal, then I am a Criminal”

Whitney v. California

274 U.S. 357 (1927)

Charlotte Anita Whitney lived nearly eighty-eight years, and her public life spanned almost six decades. She became an icon for both the women's suffrage movement and post-World War I political radicalism. Her interest in women's rights was predictable, but her brand of politics was not.

Whitney was born in San Francisco on July 27, 1867. Her father, George Edwin Whitney, was a successful attorney who moved from Maine to California in the early 1860s and later represented Alameda County in the California Senate. Several of his ancestors came to North America on the Mayflower; another was a leader of the first Puritan ...

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