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Schenck v. United States

Law Dictionary

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Constitutional Law Keyed to Chemerinsky

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470, 1919 U.S.

Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Schenck (Petitioner), distributed mailers that opposed the draft during World War I.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. When speech presents a clear and present danger of bringing about harm that Congress has the power to prevent, restrictions on such speech are constitutional.

Facts. The Petitioner sent mailers to all men that were drafted into the war. The flyer consisted of 2 pages that implored the draftees to “Assert Your Rights”ť and standup against the draft. The Respondent, the United States (Respondent), charged the Petitioner with conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act of 1917 by encouraging insubordination in the military.

Issue. Is the Petitioner’s expression of his opinion of the draft protected speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution (Constitution)?
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