Better 88 Years Late Than Never


Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has posthumously pardoned 79 World War I-era citizens who had been prosecuted under the Sedition Act.

Seventy-nine Montanans were convicted under the state law, considered among the harshest in the country, for speaking out in ways deemed critical of the United States. In one instance, a traveling wine and brandy salesman was sentenced to 7 to 20 years in prison for calling wartime food regulations a "big joke."

"I'm going to say what Gov. Sam Stewart should have said," Mr. Schweitzer said, referring to the man who signed the sedition legislation into law in 1918. "I'm sorry, forgive me, and God bless America, because we can criticize our government."

As Reason reported last week, this "we can criticize our government" deal is still being worked out.