NOTE: The article excerpted on this page is from an outside publication and is posted on FIRE's website because it references FIRE's work. The viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily represent FIRE's positions.

America is land of free speech, sometimes

November 22, 2011

We're proud that America is the land of free speech. That right is recognized in the First Amendment, and we usually take it seriously. It wasn't always the case.

In John Adams' administration, the Sedition Act made it a crime, punishable by fine and imprisonment, "to write, print, utter or publish ... any false, scandalous, and malicious writing against the government ... or to excite against (it) the hatred of the people ...