JACKSON, Miss– After 47 U.S. republican senators, including Mississippi congressman Roger Wicker, signed an open letter to Iran discussing the nuclear talks, the White House was petitioned to enact the Logan Act.
The Logan Act states that if any citizen of the United States contacts a foreign government or any of its officials regarding a dispute or controversy with the United States, or in order to defeat measures within the United States, that citizen could face imprisonment or fines. The Act itself has been called unconstitutional before, for hindering freedom of speech.
Matt Steffy, professor of law at Mississippi College, says that those petitioning for the Logan Act to be used here aren’t worried about the law being broken.
“This is political in character,” says Steffy.
Steffy describes how the Logan Act, set forth in 1799, has only been used once. Even then, that person was not persecuted.
“I’d be shocked if this letter was the first time the Logan Act was used since then,” says Steffy.
Here’s the whole conversation with Steffy about the Logan Act: