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The Case
The Verdict
The Precedent


This case deals primarily with the first amendment. That is the freedom of speech, of religion, and to gather peacefully in protest. In the year 1917 the United States was involved in World War I, fighting Germany. During the war, on June 15th, Congress passed the Espionage Act. Title one, Section three of the Espionage Act states“…whoever when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or shall willfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or of the United States, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both.” In essence any attempts to foster detention or obstruct the draft is illegal. This is the charge on which Charles Schenck was tried.

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