Timelines
Civil Liberties in Wartime

  • 1798
    Alien And Sedition Acts Signed Into Law

  • 1801
    Sedition Act Of 1798 Expires

  • 1861
    Lincoln Suspends Writ Of Habeas Corpus In Md.
    Chief Justice Rejects Lincoln's Right To Suspend Habeas Corpus

  • 1862
    Lincoln Suspends Habeas Corpus For All States

  • 1866
    Court Bars Use Of Military Courts For Civilians

  • 1908
    Bureau Of Investigation Is Created

  • 1917
    Espionage Act Is Passed

  • 1918
    Sedition Act Of 1918 Punishes Critics Of WWI
    Socialist Eugene V. Debs Is Arrested

  • 1919
    'Clear And Present Danger' Exception Established
    'Marketplace Of Ideas' Concept Defined

  • 1920
    Palmer Raids Target Suspected Radicals
    American Civil Liberties Union Is Founded

  • 1937
    House Un-American Activities Committee Created

  • 1940
    Alien Registration Act Is Passed

  • 1941
    'A Date Which Will Live In Infamy'

  • 1942
    Roosevelt Authorizes Japanese Internment Camps

  • 1943
    Restrictions On Japanese Americans Upheld
    Court Says Internment Camps Justified In Wartime

  • 1947
    Hollywood Scrutinized For Alleged Communist Ties

  • 1951
    McCarthy Targets Hollywood; Hundreds Blacklisted

  • 1957
    Use Of Smith Act To Prosecute Communists Restricted

  • 1968
    Limits Placed On Symbolic Speech Right

  • 1969
    Students' Right To Symbolic Speech Upheld

  • 1971
    Antiwar Expression Is Ruled Protected Speech
    Newspapers Win Pentagon Papers Case

  • 1988
    Japanese Americans To Get Reparations For Internment

  • 1991
    Media Coverage Limited In Gulf War

  • 2001
    Civil Liberties Groups Seek Information On Detainees
    Broad Antiterrorism Bill Is Passed
    Justice Dept. Closes Immigration Hearings
    Bush Issues Order Permitting Military Tribunals
    Terrorists Attack Pentagon, World Trade Center
    Airlines Are Warned Against Racial Profiling

  • 2002
    Citizen Spying Program Announced
    Homeland Security Act Signed
    Government Ordered To Release Detainees' Names

  • 2003
    Government Not Required To Release Detainees' Names
    Inspector General Critical Of Post-9/11 Detentions

  • 2004
    Patriot Act Provision Ruled Unconstitutional
    Federal Courts Can Hear Foreign Detainees' Appeals
    Citizen 'Enemy Combatants' Have Right To Due Process

  • 2005
    Bush Signs Real ID Act

  • 2006
    Bush Reauthorizes Patriot Act Provisions
    Bush Acknowledges Geneva Conventions Apply To Detainees
    Basic Trial Protections Apply To Detainees

  • 2008
    Court: Detainees May Challenge Detention

  • 2009
    Obama To Keep Military Tribunals For Detainees
    Obama Orders Detention Camp Shut