by William H. Pruden III
America's cultural value on free expression makes conviction of far-right radicals on sedition charges unlikely. The Ft. Smith, Arkansas trial in 1988 was a PR victory for the far right when 14 defendants accused of plotting against the government were acquitted.
SOURCE: The New Yorker
Carlton F.W. Larson has studied the legal history of treason. Until January 6, he argued that critics of Donald Trump were off base in leveling that charge.
SOURCE: Washington Monthly
by Jonathan Zimmerman
There's ample justification for Trump's second impeachment in his pattern of disregard for democracy and efforts to subvert the vote count. But reviving the charge of incitment of insurrection opens the door to ideological prosecution and the suppression of free speech.
by David Beito
A libertarian historian argues that the use of sedition law to charge participants in the Capitol riots would revive a dangerous pattern of prosecuting ideology instead of action, one which those on the left should also treat with suspicion.
SOURCE: New York Times
Joanne Freeman, Annette Gordon-Reed, Manisha Sinha and Gregory Downs offer insight into the history of the term "sedition," the relationship between speech and deed, and the specific context of white supremacy that has accompanied discussions of sedition since the overthrow of reconstruction.
SOURCE: New York Review of Books
by Brenda Wineapple
Wendell Bird argues that the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 were used more broadly than historians have recognized, and reflect a shakier foundation of free speech in the early Republic.
by Adam Hochschild
Exactly 100 years ago, this country’s media was laboring under the kind of official censorship that would undoubtedly thrill both Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo.
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