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PLS 460 Abrams v United States

PLS 460 Abrams v United States - Justice Holmes and...

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Abrams v United States Supreme Court of the United States, 1919 250 U.S. 616, 40 S.Ct. 17 Abrams was charged with violation of Espionage Act of 1918. He was accused of producing and distributing circulars which spoke against the United States attempting to encourage resistance to the war and harm production of war materials. Abrams was convicted in the federal district court. The legal question is was Abrams freedom of Speech rights violated. The court decided against Abrams. The court considered Abrams a big enough threat to the country that is was ok to violate his first amendment rights.
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Unformatted text preview: Justice Holmes and Brandeis dissented. They argued that Abrams actions did not meet the ‘clear and present danger’ test. Abrams did not have the ability or intent to carry out the message in his circulars. Notes: Similar opinion to Schenk. Holmes thought this should not have been up held. It was a misapplication of the clear and present danger test. It is not clear exactly what the difference in intent between this case and Schenk. It is likely though that it is ability and influence of the person. Later has been over ruled....
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