Business Insider: William Barr says he could ‘conceive’ of situations where reporters might be jailed ‘as a last resort’

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The Alien and Sedition Acts were four laws passed by the Federalist-dominated 5th United States Congress and signed into law by President John Adams in 1798. They made it harder for an immigrant to become a citizen (Naturalization Act), allowed the president to imprison and deport non-citizens who were deemed dangerous (Alien Friends Act of 1798) or who were from a hostile nation (Alien Enemy Act of 1798), and criminalized making false statements that were critical of the federal government (Sedition Act of 1798).

Expired 1800/1801 Violation of the First Amendment.


The Sedition Act of 1918 (Pub.L. 65–150, 40 Stat. 553, enacted May 16, 1918) was an Act of the United States Congress that extended the Espionage Act of 1917 to cover a broader range of offenses, notably speech and the expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds.

It forbade the use of “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the United States government, its flag, or its armed forces or that caused others to view the American government or its institutions with contempt. 

Repealed 1920 Violation of the First Amendment.


 

William Barr says he could ‘conceive’ of situations where reporters might be jailed ‘as a last resort’

Attorney general nominee William Barr said he could “conceive of situations” where reporters could be held in contempt and possibly even thrown behind bars as a “last resort” if they put out information harmful to the country. Barr’s response came after Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar put the question to him during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday.