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Schenck v. United States (docket #s:437-38) (1919)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Schenck v. United States  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 01/09/1919
Decided 3/3/1919
Supreme Court Vote 9-0
Note As Chief Justice Vinson put it in Dennis v. U.S. (1951): "No important case involving free speech was decided by this Court prior to Schenck v. United States."
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied.
IssueWhether the "interferring with military or naval operations" sections of the Espionage Act of 1917 violate the First Amendment.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Holmes, J.
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
For Petitioner
Henry John Nelson & Henry Johns Gibbons

For Respondent
John Lord O'Brian for the United States

For Petitioner
Brief for Petitioner by Henry J. Gibbons & Henry John Nelson

For Respondent
John Lord O'Brian & Alfred Bettman, Brief for the United States []

News Stories & Commentary
New York Times, March 4, 1919, p. 10, "Supreme Court Rules Against Pacifists"
Washington Post, August 29, 1917, p. 3, "Socialist Leader & 3 Aids Taken"
Washington Post, December 21, 1917, p. 4, "Convict 2 as Plotters: C.T. Schenk & Dr. Baer Ask New Trials in Philadelphia"
Bollinger, Lee, THE TOLERANT SOCIETY (1986), pp. 166-167, 176-177, 189-191
Chafee, Jr., Zechariah, "Freedom of Speech in Time of War," 32 Harvard Law Review 932 (1919)
Chafee, Jr., Zechariah, FREE SPEECH IN THE UNITED STATES (1941)
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)
Emerson, Thomas, THE SYSTEM OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION (1970), pp. 64-65
First Amendment Online, copies of circulars in case, "Assert Your Rights" & "Long Live the Constitution of the United States"

Geoffrey R. Stone, Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime (Norton, 2004)
Greenawalt, Kent, "’Clear & Present Danger’ in Criminal Speech," in Bollinger, Lee & Stone, Geoffrey, ETERNALLY VIGILANT: FREE SPEECH IN A MODERN ERA (2002), pp. 96-119
Indictment of Charles T. Schenck, Charles Sehl, Elizabeth Baer & Jacob H. Root, reproduced in George Anastaplo, THE CONSTITUTIONALIST (Southern Methodist University Press, 1971), pp. 300-305
Peck, Robert, "Overview: The First Amendment & Advocacy of Violence"

Posner, Richard, "The Speech Market & the Legacy of Schenck," in Bollinger, Lee & Stone, Geoffrey, ETERNALLY VIGILANT: FREE SPEECH IN A MODERN ERA (2002), pp. 120-151
Rabban, David, FREE SPEECH IN ITS FORGOTTEN YEARS (1997), pp. 193-196, 280-82, 291-292, 297-298, 324-325, 329
Sheldon M. Novick, "The Unrevised Holmes & Freedom of Expression," 1991 Supreme Court Review 303
Smith, Stephen A., "Shenck v. U.S. & Abrams v. U.S." in FREE SPEECH ON TRIAL (2003), Richard A. Parker, ed., pp. 20-35

The Montana Sedition Project

Tribe, Laurence, AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (2nd ed., 1988), pp. 841-842
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