UCLA Independence of The Judiciary Discussion

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In a 1787 letter to Edward Carrington, Thomas Jefferson expressed his strong support for a free press:

The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them (Jefferson, 1787).

Madison, Hamilton, and Jay also realized the importance of the press, as they used letters to the editors of New York state newspapers encouraging citizens of that state to ratify the new Constitution. For this week’s Discussion, you are asked to respond to one of the arguments in the Federalist Papers in the same context in which they were written.

To prepare:

  • Read five of The Federalist Papers, listed in the Learning Resources for this week, as well as five more of your choosing.
  • Select one of The Federalist Papers to which you’d like to respond.

Post your response, based on the paper you selected, in the form of a Letter to the Editor of a New York state newspaper at the time. Your letter should take a stance supporting or disagreeing with The Federalist Paper you selected.

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