Abrams v. United States

PETITIONER: Jacob Abrams et al.
RESPONDENT: United States

DECIDED BY: White Court (1916-1921)

ARGUED: Oct 21, 1919 / Oct 22, 1919
DECIDED: Nov 10, 1919

Harry Weinberger - for the plaintiffs in error
Robert P. Stewart - Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, for the defendant in error

Facts of the case

The defendants were convicted on the basis of two leaflets they printed and threw from windows of a building. One leaflet signed "revolutionists" denounced the sending of American troops to Russia. The second leaflet, written in Yiddish, denounced the war and US efforts to impede the Russian Revolution. The defendants were charged and convicted for inciting resistance to the war effort and for urging curtailment of production of essential war material. They were sentenced to 20 years in prison.


Do the amendments to the Espionage Act or the application of those amendments in this case violate the free speech clause of the First Amendment?