ACLU Sees Threats to Civil Liberties in Six Bills Before Congress
The ACLU issued a report on this day, “Civil Liberties Issues Before Congress,” that identified six bills pending in Congress which posed threats to civil liberties. The McLeod Bill would make sedition a federal crime, as had previous sedition laws on July 14, 1798, and May 16, 1918. The Aswell Bill would require all aliens in the U.S. to register with the government.
Eventually, Congress passed the Smith Act, officially the Alien Registration Act, on June 29, 1940, which represented both a permanent sedition law and an alien registration law.
Learn more about the ACLU in the 1920s: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History of the ACLU (1990)
Read the ACLU FBI File (not the complete file): http://vault.fbi.gov/ACLU
Learn about the ACLU today: www.aclu.org