Skip to comments.How the Federalists tried to renew the Sedition Act in 1801,
Posted on 06/23/2014 9:33:24 AM PDT by right-wing agnostic
The Sedition Act of 1798 famously expired on March 3, 1801. It purported to punish false and malicious statements about the Federalist President John Adams and the majority-Federalist Congress, not about the Democratic-Republican Vice President Thomas Jefferson. This is often mentioned as evidence of the Federalists partisanship in enacting the Act.
But what I hadnt known until a few years ago is that the Federalists tried to reenact the act in early 1801, when it would have outlawed criticism of the newly-elected Democratic-Republican President and Congress. The bill was defeated in the House by a 53-49 vote; nearly all Federalists voted for it, and all Republicans voted against it. The four Federalists who voted against consisted of one (George Dent) who voted against the 1798 Act, two who werent in the House for the 1798 Act vote, and one who was in the House in 1798 but didnt vote.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
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