Senator Amy Klobuchar never seems to give up on her efforts to restrict political speech. Even after her failed efforts at enacting regulations for “Honest Ads” and last Congress’ S. 1 effort (nicknamed the “Corrupt Politicians Act”), the Senate Rules Chair is back with a new effort to restrict the speech of non-Democrats. This time, it is the Protect Elections from Deceptive AI Act (S. 2770). As Senator Bill Hagerty pointed out at a Senate Rules hearing earlier this week:Read more
For years, Republicans and fair-minded people have expressed concern about the unequal application of the law in the area of First Amendment protections. For example, churches during the COVID-19 pandemic were famously restricted from meeting, but protests for the “Black Lives Matter” movement were allowed to go forward. Last week marked the courts stepping in to push back and uphold the First Amendment:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in a unanimous 3-0 decision, found that two anti-abortion groups had plausibly alleged that the D.C. government “discriminated on the basis of viewpoint in the selective enforcement of its defacement ordinance.”
The groups, the Frederick Douglass Foundation and Students for Life of America, sued the D.C. government in 2021 after local police arrested two protesters who wrote “Black Pre-Born Lives Matter” on a public sidewalk during an August 2020 demonstration.
The foundation claimed D.C. authorities abandoned enforcement of the anti-graffiti law during widespread protests in the city following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Yet that same summer, the group claimed, the restriction was “vigorously” enforced against them.Read more
This week is shaping up to be another historic week at the Supreme Court, which is expected to release the remaining decisions from its 2022-2023 term. Two of the most closely watched cases are challenging the alleged race-based admissions policies of Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill. As Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino pointed out on Fox News, Americans are tied of the discriminatory, race-based college admissions policies.
The majority of Americans do not want race factored into college admissions.— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) June 26, 2023
I hope the Supreme Court will finally clarify that it is unconstitutional to use race-based admissions to discriminate against students.
📺 @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/lGw0k7fIzf
Former FEC Chair and RNLA Board member Lee Goodman, represented by fellow RNLA Board Member Mike Columbo of Dhillon Law, advocated free speech on the internet in a recent friend of the court brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concerning Campaign Legal Center, et al. v. FEC.Read more
Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines has become well-known for her outspoken activism in defense of women's sports and sex-protected spaces. Last week, she was met with opposition while giving a speech at San Francisco State University. This is to be expected on a liberal college campus, but National Review reports that radical Leftist protestors in attendance expressed their opposition through violence instead of through exercising their right to protest peacefully:
Turning Point USA and Leadership Institute invited Gaines to speak at an event on the SFSU campus exploring women’s athletics and the inequalities that female competitors could face against transgender opponents.Read more
Earlier this month, Fifth Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan was shouted down by members of the Stanford Law community while delivering remarks to the school's Federalist Society Chapter. The incident sparked disgust by members of legal community on both the right and left who value respect for the bench and our First Amendment rights.
In one of the most disgraceful displays in recent memory, a 5th Circuit Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan was shouted down when he tried to speak to law students at Stanford. DEI Dean Angela Steinbach then appeared and lambasted Judge Duncan. https://t.co/htAFlELvaF— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) March 10, 2023
On Tuesday, Republican House members sent a letter to PayPal asking for information about a controversial policy the company considered enacting that would essentially punish users for engaging in speech the company disagrees with:
The letter demanded that PayPal send House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee and Financial Services Committee written answers to 15 questions about the circumstances surrounding the “Acceptable Use Policy,” which was published by PayPal on Oct. 8. The questions demand PayPal to name those who drafted the policy, who had the authority to approve it, and whether PayPal had coordinated with the Biden administration regarding it. . .Read more
While they still have the chance, Senate Democrats are ramping up efforts to trample the First Amendment rights of nonprofits and their donors through the DISCLOSE Act. As RNLA highlighted last week, the DISCLOSE Act would cause many more problems than it solves. A letter submitted to the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration on Monday by People United for Privacy (PUFP) serves to debunk many of the misleading arguments made by proponents of the legislation during a hearing held by the Committee last week. PUFP's main points are as follows:Read more
Just days after Georgetown University Law Center reinstated Ilya Shapiro after a four-month-long investigation for an ill-worded tweet, Shapiro proudly resigned. Georgetown reinstated Shapiro based on the technicality that he was not yet an employee when he tweeted negatively about Biden's narrow-minded pool of potential SCOTUS nominees, a move that led students and faculty at the law school to protest him being hired. But in resigning, Shapiro is standing up for free speech, contrary to Georgetown Law Center’s spineless actions, which were not based on law school policy but rather based in part on an effort to avoid "woke" student backlash. As FIRE points out:
When Georgetown reinstated Shapiro, it said that university policies did not apply to him when he tweeted on Jan. 26, as his employment was to begin Feb. 1. The university reasoned it could not punish him for tweets made when he was not a university employee. As Shapiro said in his resignation letter, Georgetown investigated him for four months when the situation “apparently could’ve been resolved by looking at a calendar.” Georgetown’s investigation was primarily calendar based, concluding just days after its academic calendar ended — and just days after commencement, when the majority of students left campus for the summer. (emphasis added).Read more
This Friday at 2:00 p.m. ET, RNLA will host a webinar titled, "The Left's War on Free Speech and the Legitimacy of Our Institutions." The past few weeks have shown that the Left is launching a full-throated assault on the First Amendment rights of Americans. Last week, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the creation of the "Disinformation Governance Board" within the Department of Homeland Security.Read more