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Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech US Constitution Amendment 1 Once in a while a case comes along that forces us to redefine our views about what freedom of speechAmendment 1 truly means The case of Collin v Smith is a classic example In 1977-78 the American Nazi party requested permission to march in the village of Skokie Illinois a village predominantly populated by Jews many of whom were Nazi camp survivors They were denied a permit based on several village ordinances The Nazi party along with the American Civil Liberties Union sued the village of Skokie saying the ordinances violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution Woll 117 The result was a landmark court ruling which redefined how many Americans thought of free speech The National Socialist Party of America NSPA is a self described Nazi party After declaring on May 1 1977 an intent to march in front of the Skokie Village Hall the village members obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting the planning and execution of the said march On May 2 1977 the Village put three ordinances into effect that would prohibit such marches as the one being planned by the NSPA The NSPA held that the ordinances violated their right to free speech and freedom of assembly as well as the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment Village Ordinance 994 enacted May 2 1977 required a permit for all parades or assemblies of over 50 people In order to obtain a permit the group would need 350000 in liability and property insurance Also officials must be satisfied that the assembly will not show any prejudice toward people of any one religious racial ethnic national or regional affiliation 119 Village Ordinance 995 prohibited the display or distribution of materials intended to incite hatred toward any specific racial or religious group Village Ordinance 996 prohibited parades in which military style uniforms
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