CARDTOONS

| June 19, 2015

•    Facts:
During WWI, Schenk mailed circulars to draftees suggesting that the draft was a monstrous wrong motivated by the capitalist system. They urged “do not submit to intimidation” but advised peaceful action. Schenck was charged with conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act by attempting to cause insubordination.
•    Procedure:
Court of Appeals upheld Schenck
•    Issue:
Are Schenck’s actions protected by the free speech clause of the First Amendment?
•    Holding:

•    Rationale:
The character of every act depends on the circumstances. “The question in every case is whether the words are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that congress has a right to prevent. (Justice Holmes). During wartime, utterances tolerable in peacetime can be punished.
•    Importance:
Clear and present danger established.
•    Concurring:

•    Dissenting:

•    Decision:
Unanimous 9-0

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