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55 Am L. Rev. 695 (1921)
Freedom of Speech and Espionage Act

handle is hein.journals/amlr55 and id is 701 raw text is: FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ESPIONAGE ACT

Among the rights connoted by the term Anglo-Saxon
Civil Liberty none is more vital to our institutions than
that which prohibits our national legislature from making
any law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the
press. This clause was not at first contained in the Con-
stitution because the framers, and particularly Hamilton,
thought it related to a matter regulated by common law
and that the power to deal with it had not been delegated.
But the demand of the State Conventions could not be re-
sisted, and the provision became a part of the first of the
ten Amendments.
. Many of the prohibitions of these Amendments, usually
referred to as the Bill of Rights, have never been resorted
to. They have stood as mute, if glorious, testimony of
guaranties extorted by our race from its rulers during
centuries of contest and struggle; and they have served
as a potential agency warning against encroachment by
the State upon the rights of the individual. Thus, seldom
has any attempt by any department of our national gov-
ernment been made to place a limit upon the freedom of
oral or written expression. The first attempt, at a time
of supposed national stress, led to the passage of the Se-
dition Law of 1798, which, with the Alien Law, met such
a storm of opposition as to lead to the disastrous defeat,
indeed to the disintegration, of the Federalist party. The
agitation against these laws undoubtedly involved a warn-
ing against any invasion of the right of free speech. But
scrutiny of the proceedings of the State Legislatures of
the several States, notably the extraordinary debate in the
1 Address before the New Jersey State Bar Association, at Atlantic
City, N. J., June 18, 1921.


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