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Violations In The Rulings Of Schneck V. United States

1047 words - 5 pages

The Schenck case in the early 1900s dealt with the freedom of speech as it related to the draft of World War I. Charles Schenck sent mass mail that stated “the draft was a monstrous wrong motivated by the capitalist system” (Schenck v. United States). The federal government found this to be in violation of the Clear and Present Danger Test as well as the Espionage Act and arrested Schenck for his actions. The case proceeded to the Supreme Court and was ruled in favor of the United States unanimously. The opinion of the court violates the free speech clause as well as a right to have peaceful protest by denying Schenck to share his opinions of the draft with others despite the opinion of the ...view middle of the document...

Charles Schneck was not purposely interfering with the actions of the U.S. military and was simply attempting to promote a peaceful resolution to the United State’s involvement in World War I. Schneck was not physically blockading and stopping people from registering for the draft and was simply warning against what it would do to the nation in a time of war. Because Schneck was only proclaiming his opinion on the draft and not physically creating any harm for the country, he was falsely accused of being in violation of the Espionage Act. In turn, the United States government and Supreme Court went against the preferred position doctrine that states no person shall be persecuted for what they say, only for what they do. Even though in the case Schneck was accused of being in violation of the Espionage Act, actions and other clauses and doctrines would prove him to be innocent of such a thing.
The act of peaceful protest is a reason why the ruling in Schneck v. United States should be overturned. According to the first amendment, American citizens have the right to peacefully protest and assemble. When Schneck was accused of a crime after mailing out his opinion on the draft, his right to peacefully protest was violated. Charles Schneck did not state anything about a violent protest and went by the means of a peaceful protest to promote the evils of the draft and a capitalist government. Because Charles Schneck only peacefully protested the draft and did not cause harm to the country, the ruling should be overturned.
The Supreme Court’s rebuttal to the peaceful protest claim was that Schneck was in violation of the clear and present danger test when he stated that the draft was unnecessary and evil to a nation. Schneck did not provide any harm to national security or safety by sending out letters telling people not to give into the government. The people, in democracy, have the...

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