Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and The National Defense Authorization Act of 2014

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The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed by Congress on July 14th, 1798. At this time in American history, John Adams was President and the Federalist had complete control over the federal government. On the surface, the Federalist and the Adam’s Administration appeared to be supporting these laws with the concern of national security and the safety of our borders. However, it became evident that the Federalist had political motives to destroy the Republican Party and anyone who agreed with them. In this paper I will explain the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and the importance of them. I will also examine the legal and social implications that resulted from the passing of these laws. Lastly I will discuss why I believe the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 is unconstitutional and why it is the worst violation of the constitution since the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 (Jenkins, 2001, p. 154). The Alien Act (2009) increased the residency requirement for American Citizens from five to fourteen years. It also gave the President the power to deport and/or arrest any immigrant that was considered, “dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States” as well as restricting anything written or spoken that criticized the government (Arnold, 2011, p. 10). John Adams and his administration claimed these laws were designed to protect the nation from foreign enemies. The Republicans disagreed and believed this was a way for the Federalist to gain more control in government. According to Garrison (2009), between 1798 and 1800, under the terms of the Sedition Act, “twenty-five individuals were arrested for slanderously publishing newspapers or pamphlets to bring disrepute upon the President or government of the United States”... ... middle of paper ... ...ternal Security Acts of 1798: The Founding Generation and the Judiciary during America's First National Security Crisis. Journal Of Supreme Court History, 34(1), 1-27. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5818.2009.01196.x. Jenkins, D. (2001). THE SEDITION ACT OF 1798 AND THE INCORPORATION OF SEDITIOUS LIBEL INTO FIRST AMENDMENT JURISPRUDENCE. American Journal Of Legal History, 45(2), 154-213. Lendler, M. (2004). Equally Proper at All Times and at All Times Necessary. Journal Of The Early Republic, 24(3), 419-444. Sedition Act. (2009). Sedition Act, 1. Tedford, T. L. & Herbeck, D. A. (2009). Freedom of speech in the United States. Strata Publishing, State College: PA. Obama, B. (2014). Memorandum on Delegation of Authority Under Section 1245(d) (5) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81). Daily Compilation Of Presidential Documents, 1.
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