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Frohwerk v. United States (docket #: 685) (1919)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 01/27/1919
Decided 3/10/1919
Supreme Court Vote 9-0
Note Jacob Frohwerk, a onetime copy editor for a Missouri German-language newspaper, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for helping to prepare and publish antidraft articles. He was also fined $500.
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied.
 
IssueWhether articles published in a Missouri German-language newspaper were protected by the First Amendment against charges that they attempted to cause disloyalty, mutiny and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces in a time of war. Can words of persuasion alone, with no agreed-upon means to obstruct recruitment, constitute a conspiracy that violates the Espionage Act?
Majority Opinion Holmes, J. (9-0)
Lower Court 8th Circuit
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
Lawyers
For Petitioner
Frans E. Lindquist (for Plaintiff in Error)

For Respondent
John Lord O'Brian (for Defendant in Error)

Other
Cole, David, "Agon at Agora: Creative Misreadings in the First Amendment Tradition," 95 Yale L.J. 857, 875-892 (1986)
Collins, Ronald & Skover, David, "What is War? -- Free Speech in Wartime," 36 Rutgers Law Journal (No. 3, 2005)
Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (Norton, 2004)
Pohlman, H.L., JUSTICE OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES: FREE SPEECH & THE LIVING CONSTITUTION (1991), pp. 70-72
Robert S. Peck, "The First Amendment & Advocacy of Violence: An Overview"

Sheldon M. Novick, "The Unrevised Holmes & Freedom of Expression," 1991 Supreme Court Review 303
The Montana Pardon Project

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