Most of these laws, however, were also intended to weaken Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party.
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The first law, the Naturalization Act , extended the time immigrants had to live in the United States to become citizens from five to 14 years. Since most immigrants favored the Republicans, delaying their citizenship would slow the growth of Jefferson's party. The Alien Enemies Act provided that once war had been declared, all male citizens of an enemy nation could be arrested, detained, and deported. If war had broken out, this act could have expelled many of the estimated 25, French citizens then living in the United States.
But the country did not go to war, and the law was never used.
The Alien Friends Act authorized the president to deport any non-citizen suspected of plotting against the government during either wartime or peacetime. This law could have resulted in the mass expulsion of new immigrants. The act was limited to two years, but no alien was ever deported under it. The fourth law was the Sedition Act. Its provisions seemed directly aimed at those who spoke out against the Federalists. In general, sedition means inciting others to resist or rebel against lawful authority. In England, "seditious libel" prohibited virtually any criticism of the king or his officials.
English common law held that any spoken or written words that found fault with the king's government undermined the respect of the people for his authority. The U. Sedition Act first outlawed conspiracies "to oppose any measure or measures of the government.
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Significantly, the act did not specifically protect the vice-president who, of course, was Jefferson. Additional language punished any spoken or published words that had "bad intent" to "defame" the government or to cause the "hatred" of the people toward it. These definitions of sedition were more specific than those found in English common law. Even so, they were still broad enough to punish anyone who criticized the federal government, its laws, or its elected leaders.
Unlike English common law, the Sedition Act allowed "the truth of the matter" to be a defense. The act also left it to the jury to decide if a defendant had "bad intent. Constitution, which protects freedom of speech and the press.
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The Federalists countered by defining these freedoms in the narrow English manner. According to English law, freedom of speech and the press only applied before the expression of ideas. The government could not censor or stop someone from expressing ideas. But after the words had been spoken or printed, the government could punish people if they had maliciously defamed the king or his government.
It was set to expire on March 3, , the last day of the first and--as it turned out--only presidential term of John Adams. He immediately began to read as many Republican newspapers as he could, looking for evidence of sedition against President Adams and Congress.
Like most Republicans, Lyon opposed going to war against France and objected to the land tax to pay for war preparations. Lyon wrote a letter published in a Republican newspaper, criticizing President Adams for "a continued grasp for power. A federal grand jury indicted Lyon for intentionally stirring up hatred against President Adams. Unable to find a defense attorney for his trial, Lyon defended himself.
Lyon attempted to prove the truth of the words he wrote and spoke, as permitted by the Sedition Act. This meant that the burden of proof was on him.
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Lyon had to prove the words in question were true rather than the prosecutor having to prove them false. Lyon also argued that he was only expressing his political opinions, which should not be subject to the truth test.
The jury found Lyon guilty of expressing seditious words with "bad intent. Lyon ran for re-election to Congress from his jail cell and won. Vermont supporters petitioned President Adams to release and pardon him, but Adams refused. When Lyon was released from jail, he was welcomed as a hero in his Vermont hometown. He was cheered along the route he took when he journeyed to Congress. Once Lyon returned to Congress, the Federalists tried to expel him as a convicted criminal, but this effort failed. Police Practices and the Bill of Rights pp.
Equal Protection and Affirmative Action pp. Part III. Rights Remembered, Revised, and Extended p.brutacapinbron.tk
The Bill of Rights in Modern America: Revised and Expanded - AbeBooks:
The Right to Privacy pp. Second Wind for the State Bill of Rights pp. Notes pp. Bibliographic Essays pp. List of Contributors pp. Table of Cases pp.
The Bill of Rights in Modern America: After 200 Years
Index pp. Purchase Buy This Book in Print. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide. Contact Contact Us Help. Powerful private actors can infringe on free expression rights just as much as public actors.
Bill of Rights of the United States of America (1791)
The first justification, the marketplace of ideas, is a pervasive metaphor in First Amendment law that posits the government should not distort the market and engage in content control. It is better for people to appreciate for themselves different ideas and concepts. Individual self-fulfillment, often associated with the liberty theory, posits that people need and crave the ability to express themselves to become fully functioning individuals. Censorship stunts personal growth and individual expansion.
It is true that state action doctrine traditionally limits the application of the First Amendment to private actors. Earlier this year, a federal district court in Texas applied the traditional state action doctrine to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a private individual against Facebook. Facebook , U. After all, for about years, the U. Thus, traditional legal doctrine provides that private actors are not constrained by the Constitution generally.
It purportedly creates a zone of privacy and protects us from excessive governmental interference. The Court developed the state action doctrine in the Civil Rights Cases of This case actually consisted of five consolidated cases in which private businesses egregiously excluded African-American plaintiffs from their privately owned facilities opened to the public such as movie theaters, inns, amusement parks, and trains on the basis of race. Individual invasion of individual rights is not the subject-matter of the amendment.
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The Court said that there were no constitutional remedies available to these plaintiffs and that they would need to rely on the common law state protections. Sadly, there were no such state common law protections either. Ferguson , and other decisions, recognized that his colleagues were allowing the government a free pass to discriminate against persons of a particular race with regard to the use of public facilities.
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