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date: 22 May 2022


The Oxford Companion to United States History
Norman L. RosenbergNorman L. Rosenberg

Also known as seditious libel, this crime initially covered any “dangerous words” threatening the authority of the state, the sanctity of its laws, or the reputation of its officers. Under the interpretation of seditious libel that emerged during the seventeenth century, judges determined the “law of the case” (whether a statement or publication was seditious), permitted juries to determine only the “facts of the case” (whether the defendant has expressed the words), and disallowed evidence of truth as a defense.... ...

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