Talk:Sedition Act of 1918

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I copied a lot of this from wikipedia, but I thought it more important that it at least be here for now. Seeing reports that many home-schooling parents use conservapedia (sorry, don't have the link so feel free to dispute), I thought it important that this at least have an article. --TheisonMarsh

What would be the best way to reference the Sedition Act of 1798 here as well? Should we have this one page speaking of both (like I did at Missouri v. Jenkins), or should we have the Sedition Act of 1798 at Alien and Sedition Acts? Or should we have two separate pages for Sedition Act of 1918 and Sedition Act of 1798 and have this be a disambiguation? If the second, should we have a "See also" link at the top of this page like Wikipedia does? --EvanW 22:27, 13 November 2009 (EST)

Good question. This page will be moved to Sedition Act of 1918 and "Sedition Act" will be turned into a disambiguation page. Geoff PlourdeComplain! 02:34, 14 November 2009 (EST)

Are they good things?

conservatives strongly oppose sedition in wartime and have historically supported these laws--which have been upheld by the Supreme Court.RJJensen 11:44, 14 November 2009 (EST)

Yes, the Supreme Court has upheld the act of 1918, but not the act of 1789 - see [1], which mentions it in passing. Besides, we value the US Constitution, including the First Amendment, and also limited government. As Thomas Jefferson and James Madison wrote,
That the General Assembly doth particularly protest against the palpable and alarming infractions of the Constitution, in the two late cases of the "Alien and Sedition Acts" passed at the last session of Congress; the first of which exercises a power no where delegated to the federal government, and which by uniting legislative and judicial powers to those of executive, subverts the general principles of free government; as well as the particular organization, and positive provisions of the federal constitution; and the other of which acts, exercises in like manner, a power not delegated by the constitution, but on the contrary, expressly and positively forbidden by one of the amendments thereto; a power, which more than any other, ought to produce universal alarm, because it is levelled against that right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon, which has ever been justly deemed, the only effectual guardian of every other right.
But even so, what's wrong with the additional information I added about how they've been seen? --EvanW 11:55, 14 November 2009 (EST)
The Supreme Court never held either act unconstitutional. Liberals dislike the laws but this is a conservative encyclopedia and we don't like the actions prohibited. Most states rejected the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions--which led to horrible misery in the Civil War.RJJensen 11:57, 14 November 2009 (EST)
I'd say that the Supreme Court has:
The invalidity of the Act has also been assumed by Justices of this Court. See Holmes, J., dissenting and joined by Brandeis, J., in Abrams v. United States, 250 U.S. 616, 630; Jackson, J., dissenting in Beauharnais v. Illinois, 343 U.S. 250, 288-289; Douglas, The Right of the People (1958), p. 47. See also Cooley, Constitutional Limitations (8th ed., Carrington, 1927), pp. 899-900; Chafee, Free Speech in the United States (1942), pp. 27-28. These views reflect a broad consensus that the Act, because of the restraint it imposed upon criticism of government and public officials, was inconsistent with the First Amendment. [2]
But, sure, I don't take the SCOTUS as a fully authoritative source either. Still, I hope we can all agree that we should be free to criticize President Obama and ex-President Bush. That would have been prohibited by the Sedition Act:
That if any person shall write, print, utter or publish, or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered or publishing, or shall knowingly and willingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering or publishing any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States, or to resist, oppose, or defeat any such law or act, or to aid, encourage or abet any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the United States, their people or government, then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years.
--EvanW 12:03, 14 November 2009 (EST)
the invalidity cites are to DISSENTING positions--losing positions, and a book by one of the dissenters. Do liberals dislike tghe law--indeed yes. RJJensen 12:16, 14 November 2009 (EST)
Evan, you should try actually reading the text of the laws. Only an unpatriotic liberal would consider doing one of those crimes. MichaelZ 12:22, 14 November 2009 (EST)
I have. That's what I quoted above. In short, it outlaws "malicious"ly criticizing the government with something that the court believes is "false". It seems like anyone who dislikes the current President is going to do that. In fact, I think we're criticizing the government ourselves, and a court could easily conclude that what we say is false.
It's called libel, and it's already illegal everywhere against private citizens. Unless the judge in question had been bought by "President" Obama, he would easily find that it was all true, as we've provided citations for everything.
Evidence: Congressman Matthew Lyons accused President Adams of "a continual grasp for power"; he was arrested. Then, he said his imprisonment was unjust; he was almost arrested again. [3].
What he was doing was libelous. What patriotic conservatives like us do has nothing to do with him.
Ideally, under a good government, only "unpatriotic" people would criticize it. But, right now, we've got a government made up of unpatriotic liberals. So, we end up being the ones "writing, printing, uttering or publishing... writings against... either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government... or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States." That's why the United States has the First Amendment: the Founding Fathers knew the government might go wrong, and people would need to speak against it. --EvanW 12:43, 14 November 2009 (EST)
Yes, they would need to speak the truth against it, not propagate unsubstantiated lies. MichaelZ 12:51, 14 November 2009 (EST)

(unindent) Agreed, Lyons (and just about everyone back then) spoke with much less politeness than we should. But, they had points. If I remember correctly, they cited evidence. You might disagree - but judges have disagreed with our evidence as well; every case about Obama's birth certificate has been dismissed. (You might say they were "bought off", but that would just strengthen my point.) We need absolute, unfettered freedom to be "writing... with intent to defame the said government... or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States."

And on another argument: at least one conservative besides me believes in giving free speech to everyone whatsoever. I'd like this page to be unlocked; if so, I promise not to insert uncited opinions. --EvanW 18:16, 16 November 2009 (EST)