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In association with The First Amendment Salons of the Floyd Abrams Institute of Freedom of Expression at Yale Law School, and the Media Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association, the case was dramatized by Floyd Abrams, Senior Counsel at Cahill Gordon & Reindell, and Kathleen M. Sullivan, Partner at Quinn Emanuel. The arguments were heard by a panel of three Second Circuit judges: the Honorable Reena Raggi, Pierre N. Leval, and Robert D. Sack
To learn more about the the reenactment, please read Professor Thomas Healy's short article.
Watch the entire reenactment here.
About the Case
During World War I, Congress enacted the Espionage Act to prevent insubordination in the military, and to prevent support of U.S. enemies during wartime. Under the new law, the U.S. Post Office banned from mail distribution a magazine called Masses, which was highly critical of the war. U.S. District Court Judge Learned Hand ruled in the magazine's favor, finding that the Post Office did not have the right to prevent distribution of the magazine. However, the Second Circuit overturned that decision, holding that the magazine's tacit encouragement of disloyalty to American interests was illegal under the law.