What is Spooner Act?

Legal Definition
The First Spooner Act of 1902 (aka Panama Canal Act, 32 Stat. 481 ) was written by Wisconsin senator John Coit Spooner, enacted on June 28, 1902, and signed by President Roosevelt the following day. It authorized purchasing the assets of a French syndicate called the Compagnie Nouvelle du Canal de Panama, provided that a treaty could be negotiated with the Republic of Colombia.

The syndicate, headed by Philippe-Jean Bunau-Varilla, sold at a price reduced from $110 million to only $40 million. US lawyer William Nelson Cromwell subsequently got a $800,000 commission for his lobbying.

The Spooner Act is followed by the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty of Nov. 18, 1903.
-- Wikipedia