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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4652. LIBELS, Jurisdiction over.—
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4652. LIBELS, Jurisdiction over.—

does the [my] opinion of the unconstitutionality,
and consequent nullity of that law,
[Sedition] remove all restraint from the overwhelming
torrent of slander, which is confounding
all vice and virtue, all truth and
falsehood, in the United States. The power
to do that is fully possessed by the several
State Legislatures. It was reserved to them,
and was denied to the General Government,
by the Constitution, according to our construction
of it. While we deny that Congress have
a right to control the freedom of the press,
we have ever asserted the right of the States,
and their exclusive right, to do so. They
have accordingly, all of them, made provisions
for punishing slander, which those who
have time and inclination, resort to for the
vindication of their characters.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 561. Ford ed., viii, 311.
(M. 1804)