SHIELD Act Would Regulate Americans' Political Speech Instead of Preventing Foreign Election Interference
Yesterday, the Committee on House Administration marked up the SHIELD Act (H.R. 4617, Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy Act). The SHIELD Act contains the provisions of the Honest Ads Act, plus additional dangerous provisions.
If passed, it would likely have very little effect on foreign efforts to influence or interfere with U.S. elections. Instead, it would regulate Americans seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights, with the effect of restricting political speech.
The RNLA sent a letter to the House opposing the SHIELD Act:Read more
Former FEC Chair and RNLA Board of Governors member Lee Goodman penned a column in The Hill laying bare the inadequacies of the Honest Ads Act pending in Congress.
Goodman writes that the bill would “severely restrict the First Amendment rights of American citizens and media companies but barely impact foreign meddlers.”
To address the kind of foreign meddling witnessed in 2016, Goodman recommends that Congress amend the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to apply directly to foreign propagandists like the Internet Research Agency. The law currently applies only to the U.S.-based agents of foreign principals. House Democrats are expected to push a version of the Honest Ads Act when Congress returns next week.Read more
House Democrats and their most loyal liberal allies are attempting in multiple different ways to effectively repeal the First Amendment. By taking away donor privacy and controlling how money is spent. The effort was their top priority as shown by the very symbolically numbered HR 1. As Real Clear Politics describes it:Read more
Last Friday, the RNLA hosted its 19th annual National Policy Conference, featuring 2019 Ed Meese III Award winner Senator Lindsey Graham, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, former Independent Counsel Ken Starr, 2019 Betty Murphy Award winner Mike Davis, and many legal experts speaking on panels. The conference focused on Deregulation and the Administrative State, highlighting what Republicans are doing at the federal level under President Trump and the state level to ease regulatory burdens. C-SPAN broadcast the morning sessions, and video can be watched here.Read more
Today, President Trump struck back against the efforts of Democrats and liberals to limit free speech and debate. President Trump issued an order to protect free speech on college campuses. As RNLA Vice President for Communications Harmeet Dhillon tweeted:
@realDonaldTrump announcing historic executive order holding colleges and universities accountable for suppressing free speech and for ripping off students and burdening them with debt for degrees of low value. Time for transparency and accountability in higher education! pic.twitter.com/Fkw2sZPTFX— Harmeet K. Dhillon (@pnjaban) March 21, 2019
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is no friend of Republicans or conservatives, but it has traditionally been a defender of free speech and First Amendment rights, especially for marginalized and unpopular speakers. While there are signs that its traditional support for civil liberties is waning and being replaced by support for liberal policy goals (the current pop-up on their website reads: "We need you with us: Donate monthly to fight Trump's attacks on people's rights."), the ACLU still will support some First Amendment rights. For example, earlier this month, the ACLU sent a letter to the House Rules Committee opposing H.R. 1 despite supporting many of its election administration "reforms":Read more
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made his first floor speech about the dangers of the House Democrats' flagship legislation, House Resolution 1 (HR 1). He said it was only a "quick tour" and promised to come regularly to the floor to describe the problems in the lengthy "effort to rewrite the rules to favor Democrats and their friends" so that all Americans can know about the dangers of its provisions.Read more
You would think House Democrats' first bill would be something that polled well for their base or that the public cared about. Or maybe it would be something crazy and liberal like unofficial House Democrat spokesperson Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's idea for “reparations...for...the New Deal.” Nope. In HR 1 House Democrats made their first bill since gaining control of the House about limiting speech (and therefore criticism of them) and rigging election processes in their favor. As House Administration Committee Republicans state:Read more
Senate Judiciary Democrats are once again facing criticism for their treatment of a judicial nominee. However this time it comes from an unexpected source, the Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii. She wrote:
While I oppose the nomination of Brian Buescher to the U.S. District Court in Nebraska, I stand strongly against those who are fomenting religious bigotry, citing as disqualifiers Buescher’s Catholicism and his affiliation with the Knights of Columbus. If Buescher is “unqualified” because of his Catholicism and affiliation with the Knights of Columbus, then President John F. Kennedy, and the 'liberal lion of the Senate' Ted Kennedy would have been “unqualified” for the same reasons.
Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution clearly states that there "shall be no religious test" for any seeking to serve in public office.
No American should be told that his or her public service is unwelcome because “the dogma lives loudly within you” as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said to Amy Coney Barrett during her confirmation hearings in 2017 to serve as U.S. Circuit Court judge in the 7th Circuit.