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How the Federalists tried to renew the Sedition Act in 1801,
The Volokh Conspiracy ^ | June 18, 2014 | Eugene Volokh

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 hadn’t 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 weren’t in the House for the 1798 Act vote, and one who was in the House in 1798 but didn’t vote.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: History
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I understand why President John Adams and his fellow Federalists get lambasted for passing the Alien and Sedition Actas of 1798, but it's vitally important to look at the circumstances surrounding 1798 in which the Federalists acted. Thomas Jefferson was undoubtedly correct when he pardoned everyone that was convicted under the Acts shortly after taking office./rwa
1 posted on 06/23/2014 9:33:24 AM PDT by right-wing agnostic
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