Replacing the “Sword of War” with the “Scales of Justice”: Henfield’s Case and the Origins of Lawfare in the United States

The United States government’s 1793 prosecution of Gideon Henfield represents the first instance of the lawfare engaged in by the fledgling government. Over the course of the decades that followed, criminal prosecution became a default selection for addressing national security threats. This article examines how the Washington Administration utilized law as a weapon to defend itself from the British and French and set the precedent for using prosecutions to achieve national security objectives.

Replacing the “Sword of War” with the “Scales of Justice”: Henfield’s Case and the Origins of Lawfare in the United States

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