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[Introduced by Representatives Fries, Bates, Dalbey, Crist_ Anderson, Good, Hunt, Jacobson, Liggett, Murtey, Peterson, Radke, Shannon, Thomas, White and Tracewell.]
AN ACT to define the crime of sedition, to prescribe penalties therefor and to provide means for the prevention of sedition, and to declare an emergency.
Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Nebraska:
Section 1. Sedition defined—If any person with intent to.obstruct, hinder, delay, discourage, hamper; or otherwise interfere with the efficient prosecution of the war in which the government of the United States is now engaged, shall:
(a) Speak, write, print, publish, or'circulate any word or statement, or do any act encouraging disloyalty to the United States of America, or of a nature reasonably calculated to bring into disrepute the United States of America, or
(b) Speak, write, print, publish, or circulate any statement tending to cause insurrection or sedition, or
(0) Speak, write, print, publish or circulate any statement tending to incite resistance to lawful authority, or
(d) Interfere with the enlistment, mobilization, equipment, movement or transportation of any of the naval or military forces of the United States, or the military forces of the United States, or the military forces of this State, or
(e) Obstruct or discourage any activity of the State or Federal Government in the prosecution of the war, or
(f) Obstruct or discourage any activity having for its purpose to render aid or comfort to the armed forces of the nation during the war, or
(g) Obstruct or discourage the lawful raising of funds for the national defense, whether in the form of subscriptions to loans or the sale of government securities, or
Ch. 5) ' Abbettors . 37
(h) Conceal, hoard or destroy any food or food supplies of a character declared by the President of the United States, or any duly authorized representative of the President of the United States, as necessary for the use of the armed forces of the United States, or the forces of the allies of the United States, or
(i) Interfere with, or discourage the enlistment of persons into the military or naval forces of the United States, or any auxiliary organizations, including the Red Cross, or
(j) Speak, write, print, publish or circulate any statement or perform any act in violation of the Act of Congress of the United States, known as the Espionage Bill, being Title 1 of an Act of Congress approved on the 15 day of June, 1917, or any authorized executive order of the President of the United States issued under said Act, or
(k) Call, arrange for, hold, or participate in any public meeting with the avowed purpose of organizing resistance to the Government of the United States, or ‘
(1) Speak, write, print, publish or circulate any statement encouraging the abandonment of any enterprise, work or employment in any of the activities necessary for the efficient prosecution of the war, or v
(m) Being physically able to work and not engaged in any useful/ occupation, refuse employment or remain habitually idle when useful employment is obtainable.
Any person so offending shall be deemed guilty of sedition and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not to exceed ten thousand dollars, or be imprisoned in the County Jail or in the State Penitentiary for any period not to exceed twenty years.
Sec. 2. Abettors.—Whoever shall aid, abet or procure any person to commit any of the acts mentioned in Section 1 shall upon conviction thereof be fined in any amount or imprisoned for any period of time for which the principal oifender could be fined or imprisoned for the principal ofi'ense.
Sec. 3. Concealing sedition—If any person with knowledge that any of the acts mentioned in Section 1 of this Act have been committed conceals such information from the prosecuting officers of the state or harbors or protects a person known to him to have committed any of the acts in Section 1 set out, any person found guilty of such concealment, harboring or protection shall be deemed to be an accessory after the fact and shall upon conviction be fined in any sum not to exceed five hundred dollars or imprisoned in the county jail for any term not exceeding two years, to be regulated by the circumstances of the case in the discretion of the court.
Sec. 4. Ofi'ending teacher, preacher, etc.-—No person who has been convicted of any violation of this act shall after such conviction act as teacher, lecturer, minister, preacher, or priest, or instructor in any capacity during the period of the war.
Sec. 5. Accused preacher, teacher, etc—No person against whom an indictment has been returned or any information has been filed by the prosecuting attorney gof any county in the State of Nebraska, for the violation of any provision of this Act shall, pending hearing upon such indictment 0r information, act as teacher, lecturer, minister, preacher, priest, editor, publisher, or instructor in any capacity; provided, however, that the District Court, or a judge thereof at chambers, before whom such indict, ment or information is pending may upon application and such showing as the court may require authorize, upon such conditions as to the court may seem proper, a person so indicted or so informed against to act as preacher, teacher, lecturer, minister, priest or instructor, pending such hearing and may revoke such permit at any time in the court’s discretion.
In the event no district judge is available for a period of ten days after an application is filed for such permit, the county judge ")f the county where such information or indictment is pending may, after a period of ten» days has elapsed, pass upon the application and grant a permit until the next term of the District Court in said county when the application shall be passed upon by the District Court.
No alien enemy shall act as lecturer, priest, preacher, mina ister, teacher, editor, publisher or educator in any capacity or by Ch. 5) Foreign Language Newspaper 39
any means within the state during the present war without first filing an application with the District Court in the county of‘his residence setting forth the date of his arrival in the United States, ' the places where he has resided, what steps, if any, he has taken to become a citizen, together with a showing of what service he has rendered the government since the war was declared, and obtaining a permit from said court to act as preacher, lecturer, priest, minister, teacher, editor, publisher or educator. Upon such application being filed, the court shall notify the state Council of De fense of its pendency together with the date when the same is set for hearing and the State Council of Defense shall be afforded full opportunity to file any counter showing which they think advisable. If upon such hearing a permit is granted, the same shall be revokable at any time in the discretion of the court.
Sec. 6. Foreign language newspapers, etc.—Any person, firm or corporation in the State of Nebraska who shall publish, within the State of Nebraska, any newspaper, magazine, periodical, book, pamphlet or other printed matter in whatever form, in any language other than the English language, shall, as soon as printed, file. a copy thereof with the State Council of Defense. In addition . to such copy there shall also be filed with the State Council of Defense a copy of any translations thereof or any part thereof into the English language required by or furnished to the Post Office Department of the Federal Government.
See. 7. State Council of Defense aid in enforcing Act—The State Council of Defense shall aid and assist in the enforcement of this act, and, in the performance of such duties, shall have authority to furnish information of any violation of the provisions of this act that may come to their attention or possession to the proper county attorney or other prosecuting officer.
If the State Council of Defense shall be notified, by any ofiicer or other person, or shall have knowledge of any violations of any of the provisions of this act, it shall be its duty, forthwith, to diligently inquire into the fact of such violation and for that purpose it is hereby authorized to issue subpoenas for persons appearing to have any information concerning, or knowledge of, such violation to appear before the council or some member or members thereof, and give evidence thereof under oath.
Provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed to take away, modify or in any way infringe upon the constitutional privileges and immunities guaranteed to persons under the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Nebraska.
Prosecution for the violation of any of the provisions of this act shall be by indictment or information as by law provided and not otherwise.
Sec. 8. Public officers—penalty for neglect of duty—If any . magistrate, county attorney, constable, sheriff, or other officer, shall fail or refuse diligently and promptly to do his duty in the enforcement of the provisions of this act, any citizen of the county, the governor, or the attorney general of the state, may file a complaint in any District Court in this state, setting forth specific charges _of such neglect and refusal against any of said ofiicials. Said action shall be brought in the name of the state on the relationship of the complainant. If the defendant shall be convicted, he shall be ousted from his oflice and a decree shall be entered _ accordingly and if the case be appealed to the Supreme Court the judgment of ouster shall not be superseded. The vacancy in such oflice so created shall be filled as provided by law. Either party may request that a judge be appointed from outside of the district by applying to the Supreme Court and said court shall make said appointment forthwith. The answer shall be filed within ten days from the filing of the complaint. Complaint and answer shall constitute the issues and th(e) trial shall be begun within twenty days from the filing of the complaint. The proceedings shall be summary in character, triable to the judge.
- Sec. 9. Penalties for violating sections 4, 5 and 6.—Any person violating any of the provisions of Sections 4, 5, or 6 of this act shall, upon conviction thereof, be imprisoned in the county jail or in the state penitentiary for any period not to exceed twenty years.
Section 10. Emergency—Whereas, an emergency, exists this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and approval.
Approved, April 9, 1918.