Originalism and a Constitutional Right to Your Opinions

Matthew Lyon spit in the face of Federalists — literally. He also beat them on the floor of Congress with fireplace tongs. They had, after all, tossed him in jail for his opinions.

Matthew Schafer
Dec 15, 2020 · 20 min read
Matthew Lyon

The Sedition Act Prosecutions Against Lyon

The Indictment

William Paterson

The Trial

Punishing Opinions

James Bayard
There is no recorded likeness of John Nicholas. His gravestone is in Geneva, New York.

Nicholas’ Defense of Lyon’s Right to His Opinions

Bayard’s Response

Gallatin’s Rejoinder

Constitutionally Protected Opinion, Now and Then

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Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing.

Matthew Schafer

Written by

Media Lawyer. Adjunct Professor/Mass Media Law at Fordham University School of Law.

Lessons from History

Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing.