Frohwerk v. United States
United States Supreme Court
249 U.S. 204 (1919)
Two months after the United States’ entry into World War I, Congress enacted the Espionage Act of 1917 (EA). The law made it a crime for any person during time of war, to “willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty in the military or the naval forces of the United States.” In 1915, the Missouri Staats Zeiung, a newspaper published in Kansas City, Missouri, issued a series of twelve articles written by Jacob Frohwerk (defendant) denouncing the United States’ involvement in World War I. Frohwerk was indicted by the United States government (plaintiff) in federal district court for thirteen counts of violating the EA based on his involvement with the newspaper. At trial, Frohwerk was convicted of all but one count, and was fined and imprisoned. Frohwerk challenged his conviction on the grounds that the EA violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Holmes, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 711,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 711,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.