Sarah Palin managed to get Roe v. Wade, but was stumped when asked to name any other Supreme Court decisions. In the spirit of remembering that there is more to law than that one case, I am participating in this meme.
The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade.) For those who see this on your f-list, take the meme to your OWN lj to spread the fun.
I pick Schenck v. United States.
Charles Schenck was the Secretary of the Socialist party and was responsible for printing, distributing, and mailing 15,000 leaflets to men eligible for the draft that advocated opposition to the draft.
He was prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917, which made it a crime for a person:
to convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies and whoever when the United States is at war, to cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or to wilfully obstruct the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States. This was punishable by a maximum $USD 10,000 fine and 20 years in prison.
Did this conviction violate his First Amendment rights to free speech?
No, of course not, ruled the US Supreme Court, in a unanimous 9-0 opinion.
Charles Schenck spent six months in prison.
The Espionage Act was later repealed, but the case remains influential today. It is best remembered for Oliver Wendell Holmes' "clear and present danger" standard.