During the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local governments are taking many steps to protect the health and safety of their residents. There is broad--and increasing--debate over the wisdom of some of these measures. No one can deny the unprecedented nature of the threat from this novel coronavirus, but it is equally true that Americans do not surrender all their First Amendment liberties during times of disaster or distress. Indeed, there are established bodies of law that apply to government restrictions on free speech and religious liberties, even during a public health crisis. This Friday on a Zoom webinar for RNLA members, two experts--Rick Esenberg and Casey Mattox--will address restrictions on free speech and religious liberty during the current pandemic.Read more
Recently, we marked the ten year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010). We continue to hear a lot about this decision in the mainstream media, with some Democratic candidates describing it as a threat to American democracy, launching attacks on any candidate - liberal, socialist or otherwise - that will take money or support from political action committees (PACS) of any kind.Read more
In a series of two blog posts, RNLA will detail our top 10 blog posts of 2019. Today Numbers 10-6.
10. May 1: TOP MOMENTS OF BARR HEARING
Attorney General Bill Barr drives it home -"How did we get to this point? The President was falsely accused of colluding with Russians - the evidence shows those allegations are false. To listen to some of the rhetoric you’d think the Mueller Report had found the opposite."Read more
John Fund wrote in National Review yesterday about "No Safe Spaces," a film by conservative commentator Dennis Prager and comedian Adam Carolla. The film describes how politically correct culture on college campuses is threatening free speech, suppressing dissent from the prevailing liberal view, and undermining our cultural value for free expression:Read more
Democrats in Congress are once again grossly misguided in their attempts to prevent foreign interference in US elections.
Their latest legislation targeting online advertising is misleadingly titled “The Honest Ads Act”. Not only would it harmfully stifle American free speech, but it would accomplish close to nothing in stopping foreign meddling.Read more
The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) thanks Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioner Matthew Petersen for his years of public service on the FEC. Commissioner Petersen announced today that he would leave the FEC effective August 31.Read more
On Thursday afternoon, RNLA Vice President for Communications Harmeet Dhillon addressed an audience of media, government, and business leaders at the White House Presidential Social Media Summit. President Trump called her a great First Amendment lawyer. Dhillon represents a number of media figures and whistleblowers who have directly experienced the suppression of free speech. In her remarks, Dhillon excoriated tech giants for censorship and repression of free speech.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