Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Schenck v. U.S.

Case Name: Schenck v. United States

Year: 1919

Result: 9-0, favor United States

Related Constitutional Issue/Amendment: Amendment I, Freedom of Speech

Civil Rights or Civil Liberties: Civil Liberties

Significance/Precedent: This case established that Schenck could not mail out things contradicting the U.S. military draft. The government had the right to regulate and control his speech in this sense. This case created the clear and present danger test. It was the first case to establish the right of the government to limit speech.

Quote from Majority Opinion: "We admit that, in many places and in ordinary times, the defendants, in saying all that was said in the circular, would have been within their constitutional rights. But the character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done...When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right."

Summary of the Dissent: There was no dissent.

Six-word Summary: Clear and present danger test created

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