Frohwerk v. United States

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Frohwerk v. United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court
Argued January 27, 1919
Decided March 10, 1919
Full case nameFrohwerk v. United States
Citations249 U.S. 204 (more)
39 S. Ct. 249; 63 L. Ed. 561; 1919 U.S. LEXIS 2193
Case history
PriorError to the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Missouri
Court membership
Chief Justice
Edward D. White
Associate Justices
Joseph McKenna · Oliver W. Holmes Jr.
William R. Day · Willis Van Devanter
Mahlon Pitney · James C. McReynolds
Louis Brandeis · John H. Clarke
Case opinion
MajorityHolmes, joined by unanimous

Frohwerk v. United States, 249 U.S. 204 (1919), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld the conviction of a newspaperman for violating the Espionage Act of 1917 in connection with criticism of U.S. involvement in foreign wars.

In a unanimous decision written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Court found that this criticism constituted the "willful obstruction" of America's recruitment efforts and was not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

As in Schenck v. United States, also decided in 1919, the speech might have been protected were the country not at war.

External links[edit]

Text of Frohwerk v. United States, 249 U.S. 204 (1919) is available from:  Findlaw  Google Scholar  Justia  Oyez (oral argument audio)