(TheRedWire.com) – As America enters a new year, Democrats are beginning a new attack line on Republicans. On Saturday, January 8, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi outlined the Democratic strategy to stop the GOP from winning the midterm elections in November. It started a year ago by labeling Republicans as insurrectionists for misdeeds by lawbreakers during the January 6 riot. Now, she and President Joe Biden are weaponizing the false narrative to pressure moderate Democrats into passing their alleged voter reform legislation under the guise that if Democrats lose, democracy is lost.
Democrats at the federal level aren’t alone in their attempts to hurt Republicans at the ballot box. Washington state Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has a radical idea of his own. If Democrats can’t stop Republicans from winning elections, he’ll silence them by criminalizing free speech rights. It’s not the first time liberal politicians in Washington state have tried the tactic. The question is, will it be the last?
Can Democrats Outlaw Lying About an Election?
For over two centuries, US citizens have considered political free speech one of the most cherished of liberties. It’s so important to the republic that courts have protected it ferociously, even when investigators can prove someone lied. Never mind that; Inslee has decided to criminalize political lying. He better get ready if he gets his wish — lying is the art of politics. What he’s asking for is highly subjective, one any political party in power could easily weaponize.
Inslee is calling on state lawmakers to pass legislation that would make it a gross misdemeanor for an elected official or candidate for office to lie about an election, with a caveat that one would know there is potential for violence.
If found guilty under Inslee’s proposal, violators could be threatened with up to 364 days in prison and fined up to $5,000. The governor argued that if someone doesn’t pass such a law, former President Donald Trump would continue his coup, which would represent a danger to the state’s electoral system. So, instead of subscribing to Washington, DC, Democrats’ attempts to federalize elections, Inslee would prefer to outlaw free speech.
Critics Suggest It’s Highly Unlikely to Ever Be Enforced
In 2007, Washington state passed a similar bill. The Washington State Supreme Court rejected it in a 5 to 4 decision. Then Justice James Johnson said it was a scheme designed to censor political opponents and that the people, not the government, are the final arbiters of truth in political debate.
On Saturday, January 8, George Washington University law professor and constitutional law professor, Jonathan Turley, said any question about an election could be possible grounds for an incitement. He added that Inslee’s proposal was a workaround to the Constitution. In the case of the governor’s proposal, a lie is whatever the government says it is, regardless of how the legislature wrote the bill.
Besides, Inslee acts as if Democrats never called an election illegitimate. They did so against both George W. Bush and Donald Trump. So, it’s okay for the goose but not the gander?
We shall see.
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