Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Frohwerk v. United States case brief

Frohwerk v. United States case brief summary
249 U.S. 204 (1919)

Defendant appealed the judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, which overruled his demurrer to his indictment and convicted him of conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act of 1917, 40 Stat. 217, 219, and alleged attempts to cause disloyalty, mutiny, and refusal of duty in the military.

Defendant's indictment was based on his publication of newspaper articles criticizing the government's decision to send soldiers to France and generally criticizing the war effort in World War I.


  • Affirming the conviction, the Court held that the First Amendment did not protect every kind of speech. 
  • On the record, it could have been found that the circulation of the paper was in quarters where a little breath would be enough to kindle a flame, and that such fact was known and relied upon by those who sent the paper out. 
  • A conspiracy to obstruct recruiting was criminal even if no means were agreed upon specifically by which to accomplish the intent. 
  • It was enough if the parties agreed to set to work for that common purpose. 
  • The overt acts were alleged to have been done to effect the object of the conspiracy and that was sufficient under § 4 of the Act.

The court affirmed defendant's conviction.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Exploring Career Paths: What Can You Do with a Juris Doctor Degree?

Earning a Juris Doctor (JD) degree is a significant accomplishment, opening a wide array of career paths beyond the traditional legal practi...