Charles Schenck's Arguments Against The Espionage Act

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Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsly shouting in a theatre and causing panic.” Similarly, the Supreme Court’s ruling to arrest Schenck was wrong, and a U.S. citizen should be allowed to protest a war or draft in times of war. Specifically, the Espionage Act violated the first Amendment, Charles Schenck, whom was arrested after violating the Act, was indicting no violence, and the Act violated the 13th Amendment. First, citizens in the U.S. being allowed to protest wars or drafts specifically shines through since the Espionage Act violates the 13th Amendment. The first Amendment declares, “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” However, after the Espionage Act was passed, during World War 1, Schenck was arrested for violating this Act by printing 50,000 leaflets that contradicted the war and the draft. As illustrated, U.S. citizens should be granted the ability to protest wars and drafts since it violates the first Amendment’s right to free speech. The Supreme Court made an invalid choice. In another sense, the fact that Charles Schenck was not initiating any violence during his protest indicates why citizens should be required to protest…show more content…
To clarify, although Holmes quarrels that the Supreme Court was right in their decision to arrest Schenck whom, “…as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive of evils that Congress has the right to prevent.” In contrast, this decision violates the 13th Amendment since Schenck was not presenting an harm or danger. But, however, his actions were, “…more like someone shouting, not falsly, but truly…” In a sense, the Supreme Court was incorrect in their decision; therefore, U.S. citizens have the right to protest during times of
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