Last week, state Attorney General Ashley Moody called on U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to terminate the creation of a disinformation board that attacks Americans’ First Amendment rights. Along with 18 other attorneys general, Moody argued that the proposed Disinformation Governance Board will hurt the constitutional freedom to speak freely, debate and disagree with the government—freedoms that state attorneys general are responsible for defending.
“President Biden is attempting to confuse and distort legitimate criticism and the perspective of American citizens. This authoritarian maneuver could be straight out of the novel 1984 and should frighten Americans of all political persuasions,” Moody said.
The attorneys general argued that this government watchdog agency would abridge a citizen’s right to express their opinions and disagree with the government, furthering self-censorship rather than protecting freedom of speech. The board’s creation is also an example of federal overreach. There is no statutory authority to support its inception—particularly as the public’s elected representatives debate the issue of disinformation in Congress.
The letter states that “the Disinformation Governance Board, by its very existence, and almost certainly by design, threatens to ‘enforce silence’ when Americans wish to express views disfavored by the Administration. It is therefore already chilling free speech and impeding the political process in…every…State. This is unconstitutional, illegal and un-American. Unless you turn back now and disband this Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board immediately, the undersigned will have no choice but to consider judicial remedies to protect the rights of their citizens.”
In addition to Moody, the attorneys general from the following states signed on to the letter: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.
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