New York Times article re: Schenck (1919)

From New York Times, March 4, 1919. pg 10
(public domain)


Holds Enlistment Section of Espionage Act No Interference with "Free Speech."

WASHINGTON, March 3. — While not passing directly upon the question of the constitutionality of the Espionage act, the Supreme Court in disposing of proceedings involving an interpretation of that statute today in effect held that the so-called enlistment section was not an interference with the right of free speech provided by the Constitution.

"When a nation is at war," the court held in an opinion rendered by Justice Holmes, "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 no court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right."

The opinion was rendered in sustaining convictions of Charles T. Schenk (sic) and Elizabeth Baer of Philadelphia, who were charged with attempting to interfere with army enlistments by sending through the mails to men of draft ages circulars discussing subjects relative to the war.

The court also, in effect, sustained the convictions of Kate Richards O'Hare in North Dakota, under the Espionage Act, by refusing to review her case, and also the conviction of Abraham L. Sugerman of Minneapolis.

Appeals from convictions under the Espionage Act of Eugene V. Debs and Jacob Frohwerk of Kansas City were argued in the court prior to the February recess, but were not disposed of by the court today.

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