On a single indictment, containing four counts, the five plaintiffs in error, hereinafter designated the defendants, were convicted of conspiring to violate provisions of the *617 Espionage Act of Congress (§ 3, Title I, of Act approved June 15, 1917, as amended May 16, 1918, 40 Stat. 553).

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Eugene V. Debs was indicted on four counts under the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917, c. 30, Tit. 1, § 3, 40 Stat. 219, as amended by the Act of May 16, 1918, c. 75, § 1, 40 Stat. 553. Two counts remained for the Supreme Court to condider. The first alleged that, on or about June 16, 1918, at Canton, Ohio, the defendant caused and incited and attempted to cause and incite insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces of the United States and with intent so to do delivered, to an assembly of people, a public speech. The second alleged that he obstructed and attempted to obstruct the recruiting and enlistment service of the United States and to that end and with that intent delivered the same speech.

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236 U.S. 273 35 S.Ct. 383 59 L.Ed. 573 JAY FOX, Plff. in Err.,v.STATE OF WASHINGTON. No. 134. Submitted January 19, 1915. Decided February 23, 1915. Mr. Gilbert E. Roe for plaintiff in error. [Argument of Counsel from page 274 intentionally omitted] Mr. W. V. Tanner, Attorney General of Washington, and Mr. Fred G. Remann, for defendant in error. Mr. Justice Holmes delivered the opinion of the court: 1 This is an information for editing printed matter tending to encourage and advocate disrespect for law, contrary to a statute of Washington. The statute is as follows: ‘Every person who shall […]

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This is an indictment in thirteen counts. The first alleges a conspiracy between the plaintiff in error and one Carl Gleeser, they then being engaged in the preparation and publication of a newspaper, the Missouri Staats Zeitung, to violate the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917, c. 30, § 3, 40 Stat. 217, 219. It alleges as overt acts the preparation and circulation of twelve articles, &c. in the said newspaper at different dates from July 6, 1917, to December 7 of the same year. The other counts allege attempts to cause disloyalty, mutiny and refusal of duty in the military and naval forces of the United States, by the same publications, each count being confined to the publication of a single date. Motion to dismiss and a demurrer on constitutional and other grounds, especially that of the First Amendment as to free speech, were overruled, subject to exception, and the defendant refusing to plead the Court ordered a plea of not guilty to be filed. There was a trial and Frohwerk was found guilty on all *206 the counts except the seventh, which needs no further mention. He was sentenced to a fine and to ten years imprisonment on each count, the imprisonment on the later counts to run concurrently with that on the first.

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A Minnesota statute made it unlawful "to interfere with or discourage the enlistment of men in the military or naval forces of the United States or of the State of Minnesota." The indictment charged that Gilbert, at a time and place designated in the state and with the United States being at war with the kingdom and imperial government of Germany, spoke out publicly against the draft and the nation's involvement in World War I.

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The appellant, doing business in the name of "Organo Product Company," in his bill prayed for an injunction restraining the Postmaster at Chicago from giving effect to a "fraud order" against him, issued by the Postmaster General on August 15, 1919, pursuant to authority of Rev. Stats., § 3929 and § 4041. The order was in the usual form, prohibiting the delivery of mail or payment of money orders to appellant, and directing the disposition of mail which should be addressed to him. The District Court, refusing the injunction, dismissed the bill, and the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed its decree. Leach v. Carlisle, 267 Fed. 61.

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The Post Office Appropriation Act of August 24, 1912, 37 Stat. 539, 553, 554, c. 389, in § 2, contains the following:"SEC. 2. . . . That it shall be the duty of the editor, publisher, business manager, or owner of every newspaper, magazine, periodical, or other publication to file with the Postmaster General and the postmaster at the office at which said publication is entered, not later than the first day of April and the first day of October of each year, on blanks furnished by the Post Office Department, a sworn statement setting forth the names and post-office addresses of the editor and managing editor, publisher, business managers, and owners, and, in addition, the stockholders, if the publication be owned by a corporation; and also the names of known bondholders, mortgagees, or other security holders; and also, in the case of daily newspapers, there shall be included in such statement the average of the number of copies of each issue of such publication sold or distributed to paid subscribers during the preceding six months: Provided, That the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to religious, fraternal, temperance, and scientific, or other similar publications: Provided further, That it shall not be necessary to include in such statement the names of persons owning less than one per centum of the total amount of stock, bonds, mortgages, or other securities. A copy of such sworn statement shall be published in the second issue of such newspaper, magazine, or other publication printed *297 next after the filing of such statement. Any such publication shall be denied the privileges of the mail if it shall fail to comply with the provisions of this paragraph within ten days after notice by registered letter of such failure.

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Overruled

Complainant directs its argument to three propositions: (1) The statute in controversy imposes an unlawful burden on interstate commerce; (2) it violates the freedom of speech and publication guaranteed by § 11, art. 1, of the constitution of the State of Ohio;[1] and (3) it attempts to delegate legislative power to censors and to other boards to determine whether the statute offends in the particulars designated.

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Plaintiffs in error were jointly indicted October 2, 1917, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York, upon six counts, of which the 4th and 5th were struck out by agreement at the trial and the 1st is now abandoned by the Government.

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Indictment in nine counts under the Espionage Act. Preliminary to indicating the special offenses we may say that the indictment charges that at the dates mentioned therein the Philadelphia Tageblatt and the Philadelphia Sonntagsblatt were newspapers printed and published in the German language in Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Tageblatt Association, a Pennsylvania corporation of which defendants were officers; Peter Schaefer being president, Vogel treasurer, Werner chief editor, Darkow managing editor, and Lemke business manager.

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This is an indictment in three counts. The first charges a conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917, c. 30, § 3, 40 Stat. 217, 219, by causing and attempting to cause insubordination, &c., in the military and naval forces of the United States, and to obstruct the recruiting and enlistment service of the United States, when the United States was at war with the German Empire, to-wit, that the defendants willfully conspired to have printed and circulated to men who had been called and accepted for military service under the Act of May 18, 1917, a document set forth and alleged to be calculated to cause such insubordination and obstruction. The count alleges overt acts in pursuance of the conspiracy, ending in the distribution of the document set forth. The second count alleges a conspiracy to commit an offence against the United States, to-wit, to use the mails for the transmission of matter declared to be nonmailable by Title XII, § 2 of the Act of June 15, 1917, to-wit, the above mentioned document, with an averment of the same overt acts. The third count charges an unlawful use of the mails for the transmission of the same matter and otherwise as above.

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The Espionage Act (June 15, 1917, c. 30, Title I, § 3, 40 Stat. 217, 219) provides that: "Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall willfully cause or attempt to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States . . . shall be punished." Sugarman was charged with having violated this section on July 24, 1917, by words spoken in an address made at a Socialist meeting which was attended by many registrants under the Selective Service Act, sustained in Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366. He was tried in the District Court of the United States for the District of Minnesota, found guilty by the jury, and sentenced. See 245 Fed. Rep. 604. Thirty-one exceptions were taken to rulings of the trial judge. Instead of seeking review by the Circuit Court of Appeals under § 128 of the Judicial Code, the case is brought here under § 238.

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Overruled

This case is before us on error to review the action of the court below affirming a judgment of the trial court holding the defendants guilty of a summary contempt and imposing a fine upon them both. There is also pending an application for certiorari made upon the assumption that if jurisdiction on error was wanting the case involved questions of such importance as to justify our interposition.

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After a hearing on September 22, 1917, by the Third Assistant Postmaster General, of the time and character of which the relator (plaintiff in error) had due notice and at which it was represented by its president, an order was entered, revoking the second-class mail privilege granted to it in 1911 as publisher of the Milwaukee Leader. So far as appears, all that the relator desired to say or offer was heard and received. This hearing was had and *409 the order was entered upon the charge that articles were appearing in relator's paper so violating the provisions of the National Defense Law, approved June 15, 1917, which has come to be popularly known as the Espionage Act of Congress (c. 30, 40 Stat. 217), as to render it "non-mailable" by the express terms of Title XII of that act. On appeal to the Postmaster General the order was approved. Thereupon the relator filed a petition in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, praying that a writ of mandamus issue, commanding the Postmaster General to annul his order and restore the paper to the second-class privilege. To a rule to show cause the Postmaster General answered, and a demurrer to his answer being overruled and the relator not pleading further, the court discharged the rule and dismissed the petition. The Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia affirmed the judgment of the trial court, and the constitutional validity of laws of the United States being involved the case was brought here by writ of error.

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