The First Amendment Of The United States Essay

1609 Words Oct 18th, 2015 null Page
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech” ("First Amendment."). However, in 1917, Congress passed a law called the Espionage Act. Some people believed that this act was unconstitutional because it went against the First Amendment. Charles Schenck was accused of breaking this law in 1919 and fought in the Supreme Court for his freedom of speech, but he lost his case and the Espionage Act stayed in place. This Supreme Court case is known for establishing the “clear and present danger test,” which continued for a good amount of time after this decision was made. This test was supposed to allow the courts to determine when it was constitutional to limit free speech. In other words, “context determines the limits” of the First Amendment (McBride). Schenck v. United States is a Supreme Court case that should have never even existed, because the U.S. should always try its best to preserve free speech in any context. When the United States entered into World War I, a law was passed in 1917 called the Espionage Act. This act “prohibited individuals from obstructing military recruiting, hindering enlistment, or promoting insubordination among the armed forces of the United States” ("Schenck v. United States,” Farlex). A man named Charles Schenck was a member of the Socialist Party, and he believed that the draft was the same as involuntary servitude, or slavery. Schenck also believed that “the war…

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