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In the recent case of State v. Sinchuk (1921) 96 Conn. 605, 115 Atl. 33, the Supreme Court of Connecticut held that the guaranties of the privileges of free speech and of assembly contained in the Bill of Rights of the State Constitution have no application to aliens, but are privileges conferred upon citizens alone. Under this interpretation of the State Constitution the defendant, an alien, was not permitted to attack the constitutionality of the State Sedition Act, for, not being possessed of any political privileges under the Constitution it would be impossible for him to show that the Statute in question had deprived him of the privilege of free speech. This decision may be open to objection for two reasons: (1) the language of the sixth section of the Connecticut Bill of Rights probably does not justify its restriction to citizens alone; and (2) the decision perhaps deprives the defendant of the equal protection of the laws in violation of the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Has an Alien the Privilege of Free Speech?, 31 Yale Law Journal 422 (1922)