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Support the Free Speech Protection Act

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We have come full circle with government censorship.  Of late we have suffered that kind of widespread government suppression of speech critical of the Biden Administration and its policies that the nation experienced in its formative years during the Adams administration under the Sedition Act of 1798.

The Biden Administration’s censorship is far greater than anything the authors of the Alien and Sedition Acts could have imagined.  By exercising coercion, cajolery, and influence over Big Tech and major media, the Biden Administration’s FBI and White House staff have achieved a degree of censorship far greater, more comprehensive and more devastating than ever before to the health, welfare and security of all Americans.  

Two hundred and twenty-five years ago the Sedition Act became law on July 14, 1798.  Under it, any who uttered, wrote, or published content deemed defamatory to the government were subject to punishment.  Republican journalists who published content critical of the Adams’ administration were arrested under the Act.  There were 25 arrests and 10 incarcerations.  Thomas Jefferson and James Madison fought behind the scenes for an end to the censorship against the early Republicans by secretly writing resolutions of condemnation of the Act.  Jefferson was Adams’ Vice President at the time.  The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions were passed by both legislatures and helped form a popular basis for nullifying enforcement and ending the reign of censorship.  In the election of 1800, Jefferson became President and allowed the Sedition Act to expire.  

Today, Rand Paul and Jim Jordan have followed in the footsteps of Jefferson and Madison, mounting an attack on Biden Administration censorship.  They have risen to fight against Biden Administration collusion with Big Tech and the mainstream media to suppress voices critical of Biden actions and policies.  That collusion resulted in widespread removal of content, de-platforming of opinion makers, and limits on access to content, among other techniques employed digitally to censor.  Paul in the Senate and Jordan in the House have introduced the “Free Speech Protection Act.” Passage of that bill will be a litmus test of member support for the Constitution of the United States.

The bill recites landmark Supreme Court decisions that re-affirm the First Amendment’s central premise: that under our Constitution there is no allowance for government to exercise control over the content of messages expressed by private individuals.  That includes when government agents in the FBI and White House collude with Big Tech or other media to avoid publication of views antithetical to the Administration’s policies and to censor content which exposes the corruption of those in power; the misgivings of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and denials of early treatment options; content of the Hunter-Biden laptop or the influence peddling and bribery schemes entered into by Biden family members; and conservative opposition to the climate change agenda.  

The Twitter files and the Missouri v. Biden decision have brought to light this Administration’s multifaceted and extensive First Amendment violations, ones committed on a scale never before witnessed in American history, affecting almost all Big Tech platforms and mainstream media.  The Free Speech Protection Act would make it a federal felony subject to civil penalties and adverse employment effects for any federal employee to use any form of communication “to direct, coerce, compel, or encourage a provider” to engage in censorship prohibited by the First Amendment.  Those actions include, among others, removing speech from Big Tech platforms, suppressing speech on those platforms, removing users from Big Tech platforms, labeling speech as false, disinformation or misinformation, or “blocking, banning, demonetizing, de-boosting, limiting the reach of, or restricting access to speech.”

I am among those who have experienced censorship for my criticisms of the Biden Administration’s actions to compel mass COVID-19 vaccinations and for my criticisms of Biden Administration support for international organizations intent on denying American physicians and patients’ freedom of choice in the provision of care during health emergencies. Undoubtedly many lives have been lost along with innovations in medicine and many truths have been suppressed due to the censorship of discussions related to the adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccines, the preferability of early treatments, and the imprudence of conferring on international bodies, like he World Health Organization, authority to recommend and direct patient care.

Rand Paul and Jim Jordan appreciate that it is insufficient for Americans to await case by case adjudication of acts of widespread government censorship that effectively shut down the robust and wide-open idea and information marketplace on which we depend for ferreting out truth and for innovation essential to the betterment of mankind and the saving of lives.  Rather, targeted legislation, like the Free Speech Protection Act, is essential to drive out of existence federal speech suppression.  I only wish that its penalty provisions were more robust with jail time required for and restitution required by federal employees and Big Tech/media executives responsible for the censorship.





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