Amid wide spread support for constitutional reforms that would make Egypt a far more open and free society, the nation is poised now to take a giant step backwards.
Egypt's cabinet has endorsed a law that would make it illegal to engage in any protest or strike that would disrupt the country's economy. The law is largely aimed at preventing labor strikes, but any large scale demonstration would likely have a negative immediate affect on the nation's economy.
Under the new law, which must still be approved by the ruling military council, the demonstrations that ousted President Hosni Mubarak from power would be illegal and carry a penalty of up to one year imprisonment or a fine of EGP500,000 ($84,000).
At least we waited until 1798 to pass the Alien and Sedition Acts.