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Charles Schenck and Dr. Elizabeth Baer were arrested for distributing anti-war circulars to the general public and for mailing the same literature to men listed in the newspaper as being eligible for the draft under the Selective Draft Act of May 18, 1917. The message in the literature compared military conscription to slavery, outlawed under the Thirteenth Amendment, and urged draftees to resist enlistment.

The distribution occurred during the week of August 13-20, 1917, prior to the Supreme Court decision holding the Draft Act as constitutional.

The pair was arrested and convicted under Title I, Section 3, of the Espionage Act of June 15, 1917, on charges of "1) false statements or reports interfering with military or naval operations or promoting the success of our enemies; 2) causing or attempting to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny or refusal of duty in the military and naval forces; and 3) obstruction of enlistment and recruiting." They were also charged with conspiracy.

Case Citation:

Schenck v. United States, 249 US 47 (1919)

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Q: Exactly what did Schenck and Baer do that resulted in the criminal conviction appealed in Schenck v US?
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