On March 9th, 1918, Victor Berger and other leaders of the Socialist Party of America were indicted under the Espionage and Sedition Acts in the federal court in Chicago. This came as Berger was well underway with his campaign for the House of Representatives and after the Milwaukee Leader, the only English language Socialist newspaper published in America, was stripped of its ability to print and distribute its newspapers. Berger and his wife Meta both ran the newspaper and relied on it to spread the word of their cause. Berger would eventually be indicted two more times that year, on October 28th in Milwaukee and on December 3rd in La Crosse. Despite his indictments, he managed to secure enough votes to represent Wisconsin's 5th Congressional District in Congress. Berger would eventually gain his seat in the House, but not after a special committee was set up to decide whether convicted felons would be able to hold positions as Congressmen. He was stripped of his post in March 1919, but was amazingly reelected by his constituents and regained his seat.
Victor Berger was living proof that not all Americans were supportive of their country's entry into World War One. He managed to represent his state in Congress amidst accusations of disloyalty and treason; the fact that his beliefs were punishable by law seemed to not help his case. However, Berger's antiwar rhetoric was the exception, not the rule across the country. Perhaps President Woodrow Wilson foresaw this kind of reaction in his address to Congress upon the declaration of war against Germany:
--Woodrow Wilson's Address to Congress, April 2, 1917
Berger, Meta. A Milwaukee Woman's Life on the Left. Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin Press, 2001