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Abrams v. United States

Significance, In Uncharted Territory, Creating The Surveillance State, Anarchists And War, Trial And Appeal


Jacob Abrams, Mollie Steimer, Hyman Lachowsky, Samuel Lipman


United States

Appellants' Claim

That they were not legally convicted of conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act of 1917.

Chief Lawyer for Appellants

Harry Weinberger

Chief Lawyer for Appellee

Robert T. Stewart

Justices for the Court

John Hessin Clarke (writing for the Court), William Rufus Day, Charles Evans Hughes, Joseph McKenna, James Clark McReynolds, Willis Van Devanter, Edward Douglass White

Justices Dissenting

Louis D. Brandeis, Oliver Wendell Holmes


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

10 November 1919


Upheld the conviction and the Espionage Act as constitutional.

Related Cases

  • Patterson v. Colorado, 205 U.S. 454 (1907).
  • Schenk v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).
  • Frohwerk v. United States, 249 U.S. 204 (1919).
  • Debs v. United States, 249 U.S. 211 (1919).


Biskupic, Joan and Elder Witt. Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 1997.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940