Analysis Of The Espionage Act

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In the hundred years since its entry into force, the Espionage Act of 1917 continues to raise debates about constitutionality and power of the government to limit speech. In answering my research questions, it revealed that defending free speech from the Espionage Act has led to scrutiny, defense, and interpretation beyond the original intent of the Act. The Supreme Court Cases outnumber, the Congressional amendments. Nevertheless, legal cases show the fight to protect the press and individuals First Amendment Rights. The evolution of judicial opinions shows the issue of separating political agenda from judicial interpretation. Both justices and the scholars described sections 793, 794, and 798 as vague and ambiguous. It is important to understand the literature in the historical context and in the greater context of the debate. …show more content…
Understanding about the original intention of the Espionage Act seems to have been forgotten in current debates. The Espionage Act published in 1918 by Charles Cheney Hyde deconstructed the Act beyond espionage violations. He demonstrated an understanding of national defense threats including trade, marine vessels, and even fraudulent passports during WWI. A more modern interpretation by Peter Galison’s Secrecy in Three Acts discussed the relationship between free speech and technological advancements in the Manhattan

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