“There exists a special place in ignominy for American politicians who, having been extended the trust of their voters, turn upon a dime and attempt to undermine the protections of the constitutional order that put them in office. And, within that special place, there exists an even smaller place, reserved for those whose ambitions lead them to pile transgression atop transgression and strike at many roots at once.” Charles Cooke
Free speech and the robust debate of ideas has been the lynchpin of our Republic for more than two centuries but this will come to a screeching halt if HR1, For The People Act of 2021 becomes law.
Largely mirroring a bill passed two years ago in the early weeks of the House Democratic majority, the new bill, introduced by Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland, is nearly 800 pages of Democrat wishes pertaining to a wide range of subjects, from voter registration and election to campaign finance, judicial ethics and lobbying. The bill passed the House on March 3, 2021 and awaits action by the Senate (S.1).
If it becomes law, states would be forced to set up a system that automatically registers citizens starting at 16, even though they would not be eligible to vote. In addition, the bill would force every state to allow same day registration up to and including Election Day; eliminate all state voter ID requirements for mail-in or absentee voting, and restrict states from removing voters from the rolls for any reason including duplications. States would also have to allow vote by-mail for all federal elections, and count any ballot received up to 10 days late as long as they were postmarked on or before the election date.
In addition, the bill would legalize ballot harvesting, give voters the ability to sue jurisdictions that haven’t complied with the law, force taxpayers to finance federal elections matching small dollar donations 6 to 1, force changes to Congressional redistricting, require tech platforms to disclose political advertising information, establish a code of ethics for the Supreme Court justices for the first time, and forever change the nonpartisan FEC into an overtly partisan enforcement tool controlled by a majority of commissioners from the political party in power.
Also contained within the bill is a host of onerous disclaimer requirements for those engaging in any communication that mentions a candidate or elected official, even if those communications are related to legislative issues. Given that current law already requires the clear identification of those responsible for a candidate communication, these new disclaimer requirements only serve to burden the exercise of free speech, presumably to discourage it in the first place.
As a matter of law, the bill will regulate any speech, at any time that “promotes or supports the candidate, or attacks or opposes an opponent,” which is a very fuzzy standard that widens the definition of coordination between a group and a candidate to encompass almost any communication. While it will still be permissible to discuss a candidate’s position on issues, any talk regarding the candidate’s campaign advertising, message, strategy, policy, polling, allocation of resources, fundraising, etc. will violate the law.
Throughout its nearly 800 pages of complex and convoluted text, H.R. 1 imposes unworkable and invasive regulations on the ability of individual Americans and groups of citizens to discuss vital policyissues with elected officials or the public and to exercise constitutionally protected freedoms. The bill intrudes upon the private financial decisions made by everyday citizens, subjecting them to harassment and intimidation simply for giving to causes they care about.”
Source: Don’t Be Deceived, For the People Act Would Federalize Elections by Jordan Harris, Pegasus Institute, Courier Journal; Pelosi’s Radical ‘For the People Act’ Would Eviscerate Election Integrity by Chris Talgo, Townhall; House Passes Bill Gutting Election Integrity, Free Political Speech by Tyler O’Neil, PJ Media;