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Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech$
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Victoria Saker Woeste

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772341

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772341.001.0001

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The Lawsuit

The Lawsuit

(p.179) 6 The Lawsuit
Henry Ford's War on Jews and the Legal Battle Against Hate Speech
Stanford University Press

Aaron Sapiro filed his libel lawsuit against Henry Ford and his newspaper, Dearborn Independent, in April 1925, and the trial finally got under way in 1927. Both sides used the intervening period, known in the civil litigation process as the discovery phase, to gather evidence and depose witnesses. Sapiro discovered that Ford had no intention of defending his newspaper's anti-Semitic articles, and instead wanted to focus on Sapiro's Jewishness. Instead of trying to vindicate all Jews, Sapiro and his lawyer, William Henry Gallagher, emphasized conventional individual libel grounds. Ford's team, which included Missouri Senator James A. Reed, sought to regain the moral high ground by denying explicit anti-Semitism. For both sides, Sapiro v. Ford was about Sapiro, Jews, and cooperatives.

Keywords:   Aaron Sapiro, libel, Henry Ford, Dearborn Independent, litigation, Sapiro v. Ford, Jews, lawsuit, James A. Reed, William Henry Gallagher

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