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Comparing Alien and Sedition and US Patriot Act
Transcript of Comparing Alien and Sedition and US Patriot Act
These laws that were meant to protect American from revolutionary France in a time where the ruling American class feared the spread of "mobocracy."
Only a few years after the constitution and the Bill of Rights were ratified, the sedition act disregarded the law. Notions of the next offense was feared amongst Democratic republicans.
The Sedition Act explicitly states that speaking in opposition to the government would have harsh consequences. The constitution was lacking authority. Years later, the USA Patriot Act forbids the same actions however states it in a implicit manner.
Although stated in the constituation that it should be"it shall be lawful or the defendant upon the trial of the cause to give evidence in his defense" (doc. D), the Alien and Sedition Act and the USA Patriot Act did convict people without judiciary review. (Doc. B)
In addition, Federalists also used these laws against immigrants and also pro-Jefferson newspapers.
In contrast to the USA Patriot Act, the Sedition Acts had guidelines that did not being allow those being convicted could not be kept in prison for more than two years. (doc. D)
Alien and Sedition Act (1798)
USA Patriot Act (2001)
Comparing the Alien and Seditious Acts to the USA Patriot Act
The USA patriot act limits political organizations that break criminal laws in the similar way the Sedition Act was created out of the fear of "mobocracy. (Kennedy 198, Doc.C)
Alien and Sedition Acts- 1798
Passed by John Adams in response to threats overseas, the Alien Act raised the requirements for immigrants to become citizens and the Sedition Act prohibited public criticism of the government.
USA Patriot Act- 2001
In response to the September 11 attacks in 2001, Congress passed the USA Patriot Act
( Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act). It allowed the government to raise security measures.
Without restriction like the Sedition Acts, the USA Patriot Act threatened the 8th Amendment of no excessive bail.
Law enforcement officers can. .
search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s consent or knowledge
use National Security Letters (allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to search telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order)
use business records, including library and financial records.
Alien and Sedition Act
Congress gave the executive branch more powers.
Is having security worth not having certain freedoms?
Alien and Sedition Acts
Alien and Sedition Act
Citizens suspected of terrorism are held in military custody with no access to lawyers.
The Sedition Act
Both were created in response to tensions where the United States felt threatened by outside sources.
Although both were criticized harshly, these groups of people represented a small fraction. A majority of the people shared the government's fear and trusted in the government.
(Doc. F, Kennedy 206)
FBI is allowed to spy on religious and political organizations.
The Alien and Sedition Acts were placed with an expiration date and have already expired, the USA Patriot Act however, is still intact today.