PELOSI Wants to Muzzle Dissent, End Of Free Speech
Pelosi Bill Would Target Grass-Roots Activists
Clear Aim Is to Muzzle Citizen Groups Like National
Right to Work
“It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association
for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the
‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which
embraces freedom of speech . . . .
“Of course, it is immaterial whether the beliefs sought to
be advanced by the association pertain to political, economic, religious or
cultural matters, and state action which may have the effect of curtailing the
freedom to associate is subject to the closest scrutiny.”
With these words, all nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court
sharply rebuffed the State of Alabama just over six decades ago for seeking to
use its sovereign authority to obtain the names and addresses of members of the
NAACP under its jurisdiction.
‘Unconstitutional’ Goal Is to Curtail Free Speech Of
The author of the NAACP v. Alabama ruling was Justice
John Marshall Harlan II, generally regarded as an advocate of judicial
restraint, but no justice of any stripe dissented from his opinion, or even saw
the need to qualify or add anything to what he said.
Unfortunately, in the 2019-20 Congress, U.S. House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and every other member of her Democrat Party caucus seem
ready to toss the constitutional principles unanimously upheld by the Supreme
Court out the window simply in order to silence inconvenient voices during
On March 8, Ms. Pelosi rammed H.R.1, the cynically
mislabeled “For the People Act,” through the House with the support of every
single Democrat politician in the chamber.
This power grab now awaits action in the U.S. Senate.
“The clear, unconstitutional aim of H.R.1 is to curtail the
free speech of ordinary citizens,” charged National Right to Work Committee
Vice President Greg Mourad.
Bill Would Help Thuggish Politicians, Union Bosses Track
Down Their Critics
People banding together with others who share their
legislative goals to advance them through grass-roots action are special
targets of H.R.1, even though such organizations have long been explicitly
authorized in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.
“The so-called ‘DISCLOSE Act’ provisions of H.R.1 would
require nonprofit, citizen-action groups like the National Right to Work
Committee to meet burdensome and stifling paperwork requirements simply in
order to exercise basic First Amendment rights,” explained Mr. Mourad.
“Worst of all, this scheme would force 501(c)(4) groups like
ours to disclose publicly the names of our donors.
“Effectively, Right to Work officers would either have to
help thuggish politicians and union bosses track down and harass our supporters
for daring to criticize them, or risk fines and, potentially, imprisonment.”
‘The Effect of Compelled Disclosure . . . Will Be To
Abridge’ Member Rights
An unwarranted government demand that a private organization
surrender and acquiesce to public disclosure of its supporters’ personal
information is precisely the type of abuse the Supreme Court condemned in NAACP
“It is hardly a novel perception,” stated Justice Harlan on
behalf of the Court, “that compelled disclosure of affiliation with groups
engaged in advocacy may constitute [an] effective . . . restraint on freedom of
Ultimately, “the effect of compelled disclosure of the
membership lists will be to abridge the rights of its rank-and-file members to
engage in lawful association in support of their common beliefs.”
“Given that many Big Labor bosses contend unabashedly that
they ought to be exempt from prosecution under federal anti-extortion law
whenever they are pursuing ‘legitimate’ union goals, Committee members plainly
have reasonable cause to expect reprisals if they lose their right to privacy,”
said Mr. Mourad.
Committee Ready to Help Block H.R.1 in Senate
Shortly before this edition of the National Right to Work
Newsletter went to press, the Committee contacted every senator on behalf of
Committee members, stating bluntly that H.R.1 would “have the effect of
stifling” the voices of this coalition of freedom-loving Americans.
Mr. Mourad said that, with top Senate leaders on the record in opposition to H.R.1, there are good prospects for blocking this attack on the free association and the right to privacy in Congress’ upper chamber. And the Committee is prepared to do everything necessary to defeat the legislation there.