The first enforcement of any of the First Amendment freedoms against the states, through the Fourteenth Amendment, was in 1927. In the twenty years since, these freedoms have, one by one, been brought within the protection of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, as integral parts of the "liberty" which is safeguarded against state denial-the process having been completed in 1947 by the dictum that the prohibition of the establishment of religion ran against the states. The chronology of the struggle to enforce the Bill of Rights against the states, as well as other circumstances, suggests that the progress may not have been unrelated to the advance of federal power over the individual and its progressive exclusion of state power as the latter also attempted to advance. Both the advances and the rising tide of liberty were set in motion by the same fundamental cause our transformation into an industrial society-and in particular by the development (still continuing) of transportation and communication.
John R. Green,
THE BILL OF RIGHTS, THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT AND THE SUPREME COURT,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol46/iss7/2