On Wednesday, Senate Democrats announced their version of the "For the People Act" (a.k.a. the "Corrupt Politicians Act"). The Corrupt Politicians Act represents a permanent, partisan power grab by Democrats who will do what they can to keep Democrats in power at any cost. his Friday, RNLA will host a webinar featuring Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and the Chairman of the Institute for Free Speech, Bradley Smith, to discuss the kind of litigation we might expect if parts of the Corrupt Politicians Act are passed or if President Biden forces measures through executive action.
One of the most prominent concerns with the Act is how it will restrict the freedom of speech of Americans. As Professor Smith wrote with IFS President David Keating:
Proponents of H.R. 1 say they want to make democracy work for the people, a popular but meaningless cliché. In reality, H.R. 1 creates new burdens on your rights, as Americans, to speak, assemble, and petition the government.
The threats to free speech in the so-called “For the People Act” span hundreds of pages and are too numerous to cover in their entirety here. But the short version is this: The bill makes speaking easier for politicians and harder for American citizens. It subsidizes politicians’ campaigns while allowing elected officials and their allies to compile enemies lists of private supporters of causes they don’t like. It imposes crushing regulatory burdens on groups that speak about elections, government or legislation.
The groups citizens rely on to monitor Washington and voice their concerns — such as the ACLU, the NRA, the Sierra Club and countless others — will be newly shackled. As just one example, the bill would regulate any “public communication” that “promotes, supports, attacks or opposes” any candidate. Groups will be scratching their heads trying to figure out what qualifies.
Another main concern with the Corrupt Politicians Act is that it federalizes the U.S. election system. The House Democrats' handling of Democrat Rita Hart's federal challenge to Congresswoman Miller-Meeks victory in Iowa's Second Congressional District is just one example of why this is such a bad idea.
Yes, the "optics" of Democrats unseating a lawfully elected member of Congress are terrible. https://t.co/XWdAJvR5XK— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) March 18, 2021
In his role on the Republican State Leadership Committee's Commission on Election Integrity, Secretary of State Merrill is fighting back against the Act's proposal to dramatically expand federal oversight over elections. A key principle of the Commission is to empower states to implement practices to make elections "free, fair, and transparent":
Restoring public confidence in our elections will not be solved by one-size-fits-all mandates from Washington. Every state is different, and to guarantee that election results are accurate and are administered in a fair and efficient manner, elections must remain controlled by the states. Some states will continue to emphasize election day voting; others will have more expansive mail-in and early voting elements, while still others will elect to do all mail-in ballot. Whatever path a state takes, it should maintain its own codified uniform standards for consistent administration across their counties and local jurisdictions.
To learn more about the dangers of the Corrupt Politicians Act, register here for RNLA's webinar happening this Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET.