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News Posted on February 24, 2017

Professor Larson Publishes Essay on Treason in Washington Post

Professor Carlton Larson published an essay in the Washington Post titled “Five myths about treason.” Although it is frequently suggested that the actions of various politicians might be treason, such accusations often derive from the false assumption that “disloyalty or policies that harm the United States” amount to treason, Larson writes.  In reality, the Constitution defines treason much more narrowly as “levying war” against the United States or aiding the enemies of the United States.

“Speaking against the government, undermining political opponents, supporting harmful policies or even placing the interests of another nation ahead of those of the United States are not acts of treason under the Constitution,” writes Larson.

Other “myths” discussed in the article include the ideas that aiding Russia or leaking classified material would be treason.

Carlton Larson's research interests focus on constitutional law and legal history, with a strong emphasis on the 18th century.