The first must be brought into operation by an assemblage of men for a purpose, treasonable in itself, or the fact of levying war cannot have been committed. On the contrary, if war be actually levied, that is, if a body of men Be actually assembled for the purpose of effecting by force a treasonable purpose, all those who perform any part, however minute, or however remote from the scene of action, and who are actually leagued in the general conspiracy, are to be considered as traitors.
But there must be an actual assembling of men for a treasonable purpose to constitute levying of war. Crimes, so atrocious as those which have for their object the subversion by violence of those laws and those institutions which have been ordained in order to secure the peace and happiness of society, are not to escape punishment because they have not ripened into treason.
The wisdom of the Legislature is competent to provide for the case. In the case of The United States vs.
In the case of the United States vs. If, for example, an army should be actually raised for the avowed purpose of carrying on open war against the United States and subverting their Government, the point must be weighed very deliberately before a Judge would venture to decide that an overt act of levying war had not been committed by a Commissary of purchases who never saw the army, but who, knowing its object, and leaguing himself with the rebels supplied that army with provisions; or by a Recruiting-officer, holding a commission in the rebel service, who, though never in camp, executed the particular duty assigned to him.
This able jurist, in the same case, states that the term "levying war," as used in the Constitution of the United States, was unquestionably employed in the same sense in which it was understood in England and in this country, to have been used in the Statute of EDWARD III. FOSTER further states, in his valuable Treatise on Treason, that all insurrection, to effect certain innovations of a public and general concern, by an armed force, to be, in construction of law, high treason within the clause of levying war. He farther says:. So cruising on the King's subjects, under a French Commission, France being then at war with us, was held to be adhering to the King's enemies, though no other act of hostility be proved.
Lord COKE says: "If many conspire to levy war, and some of them do levy the same, according to the conspiracy this is high treason in all. Because all were legally present when the war was levied? Every instance of incitement, aid, or protection, which in case of felony will render a man an accessory before or after the fact, in the case of high treason, whether it be treason at common law or by statute, will make him a principal in treason. Justice STORY, in his Commentaries on the Constitution, "with authority to punish the crime of treason against the United States, could never become a question with any persons who deem ed the National Government worthy of creation or preservation.
If the power had not been expressly granted, it must have been implied, unless all the powers of the National Government might be put at defiance and prostrated with impunity. Two motives probably concurred in introducing it as an express power. One was, not to leave it open to implication whether it was to be exclusively punished with death, according to the known rule of the common law, and with the barbarous accompaniments pointed out by it -- but to confide the punishment to the discretion of Congress.
The other was, to impose some limitation upon the nature and extent of the punishment, so that it should not work corruption of blood or forfeiture beyond the life of the offender. This Act of Congress was allowed to expire in after Jefferson's election to the Presidency. This Act of Congress was amended by the Sedition Act of , which expanded the scope of the Espionage Act to any statement criticizing the Government of the United States.
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These Acts were upheld in in the case of Schenck v. United States , but they were largely repealed in , leaving laws forbidding foreign espionage in the United States and allowing military censorship of sensitive material. In , the Alien Registration Act, or " Smith Act ", was passed, which made it a federal crime to advocate or to teach the desirability of overthrowing the United States Government , or to be a member of any organization which does the same.
It was often used against Communist Party organizations. This Act was invoked in three major cases, one of which against the Socialist Worker's Party in Minneapolis in , resulting in 23 convictions, and again in what became known as the Great Sedition Trial of in which a number of pro- Nazi figures were indicted but released when the prosecution ended in a mistrial. Also, a series of trials of leaders of the Communist Party USA also relied upon the terms of the "Smith Act"—beginning in —and lasting until Although the U. United States , that same Court reversed itself in in the case of Yates v.
United States , by ruling that teaching an ideal, no matter how harmful it may seem, does not equal advocating or planning its implementation. Although unused since at least , the "Smith Act" remains a Federal law.
There was, however, a brief attempt to use the sedition laws against protesters of the Vietnam War. On 17 October , two demonstrators, including then Marin County resident Al Wasserman, while engaged in a "sit-in" at the Army Induction Center in Oakland, California , were arrested and charged with sedition by deputy US. Marshall Richard St.
Attorney Cecil Poole changed the charge to trespassing. Poole said, "three guys according to Mr. Wasserman there were only 2 reaching up and touching the leg of an inductee, and that's conspiracy to commit sedition? That's ridiculous! Attorney Poole later added, "We'll decide what to prosecute, not marshals. He was among the 16 Puerto Rican nationalists offered conditional clemency by U. President Bill Clinton in , but he rejected the offer. Torres ". In , fourteen white supremacists were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges filed by the U.
Department of Justice against a seditious conspiracy between July and March Some alleged conspirators were serving time for overt acts, such as the crimes committed by The Order.
Others such as Louis Beam and Richard Butler were charged for their speech seen as spurring on the overt acts by the others. In April , a federal jury in Arkansas acquitted all the accused of charges of seditious conspiracy. On 1 October , Omar Abdel-Rahman and nine others were convicted of seditious conspiracy.
Laura Berg, a nurse at a U. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in New Mexico was investigated for sedition in September  after writing a letter   to the editor of a local newspaper, accusing several national leaders of criminal negligence. Though their action was later deemed unwarranted by the director of Veteran Affairs, local human resources personnel took it upon themselves to request an FBI investigation. Berg was represented by the ACLU.
On 28 March , nine members of the Hutaree militia were arrested and charged with crimes including seditious conspiracy. District Judge Victoria Roberts dismissed all serious charges against the remaining defendants, including sedition, and rebuked prosecutors for bringing the case. One man, Jacob Ward, was found not competent to stand trial. Volksverhetzung "incitement of the people" is a legal concept in Germany and some Nordic countries.
It is sometimes loosely translated as sedition,  although the law bans the incitement of hatred against a segment of the population such as a particular race or religion. Dublin: Law Reform Commission. August Retrieved 11 May From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the legal term.
For other uses, see Sedition disambiguation. Not to be confused with sedation or seduction. Main article: Australian sedition law. See also: Sedition Act Malaysia. See also: Sedition Act Singapore. See also: Sedition Act See also: Seditious conspiracy. Breight 7 November Surveillance, Militarism and Drama in the Elizabethan Era. The Canadian Encyclopedia.
Retrieved 29 January Retrieved on 19 September Retrieved on IBNLive 11 September Indian Express 16 April The Indian Express. Deccan Chronicle.
Treason Against the United States. - The New York Times
Retrieved 9 October Times of India. Irish Statute Book. First Report. Human Rights in Ireland.
Malaysia cartoonist hit with 'record' nine sedition charges
Constitutional Law of Ireland. Sections 35, Sections 2, 10 1 c , Criminal Law in Ireland. Irish Law Publishing. The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 November Archived from the original PDF on 2 June Radio New Zealand. Archived from the original on 18 January Retrieved 5 May Retrieved 24 October House of Representatives.
Steven Katsineris. Green Left Weekly. Issue Retrieved 22 March Pierluisi to President Barack Obama. Page 3.
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