On This Date in Legal History

On June 16, 1918, Eugene Debs gave a speech intending to encourage others not to join the military. Debs was indicted and convicted by a jury for violating the Espionage Act. The Act made it a crime to obstruct military recruitment during World War 1. He argued that he was exercising his right to free speech under the First Amendment, and the Espionage Act was unconstitutional.  On January 28, 1919, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case Debs v. United States.

Eugene Victor Debs in 1897

Eugene Victor Debs in 1897

The Supreme Court disagreed with Debs and affirmed his conviction. Clarence Darrow labored to obtain a pardon for Debs, or have his sentence commuted. President Wilson refused to comply, but on Christmas Day in 1921, President Harding agreed to commute his sentence to time served. Read more at http://goo.gl/EqRpX4.

About Tina Nelson
Tina Nelson

Tina Nelson is an attorney and mom. She created the LAWSUIT™ board game to teach her three children about the law. The game was an instant success. Copyrights and a patent were obtained, and Professional Games, Inc. was born. Professional Games, Inc. created this blog to educate and keep its friends and customers regularly updated about our American legal system.
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