Dear Anti-Free Speech Bureaucrats, Rep. Hageman Would Like a Word: MRC UnCensored

March 20th, 2024 5:48 PM

Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY) conveyed to MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider her plans to protect free speech on the latest episode of MRC Uncensored.

Hageman and Schneider discussed the congresswoman’s new bill empowering Americans to hold government officials accountable when their First Amendment rights are infringed upon. “[O]ur government has been weaponized against us. And one of the most obvious examples of that is the attack on the First Amendment,” she told Schneider. Hageman’s new bill, the Censorship Accountability Act, would allow citizens to sue federal executive branch employees personally when they take actions that encroach upon American liberties.

She outlined how much the First Amendment has been trampled on in recent years, explaining: “All of the things that we’re seeing is a government that has determined that our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights – specifically our freedom of speech and the free exercise clause, our freedom of religion – is something that the government has been targeting. But there has been no mechanism by which we have a private class of action to hold the people doing this accountable.”

Schneider noted that Hageman’s bill is based on U.S. Code 42 Section 1983, which allows citizens to take civil action against state and local officials when deprived of their rights. Hageman’s new bill intends to help citizens hold government employees on the federal level personally liable when they censor Americans.

The Wyoming lawmaker gave the examples of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas – whose agency set up the Disinformation Governance Board and was found to be funding censorship – and Lois Lerner, the former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit for the Internal Revenue Service, who was accused of unfairly granting tax-exempt status to various organizations and targeting conservative groups.

“Mayorkas is acting fully within the scope of his employment but he is doing something illegal under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” she denounced. “Right now I have no mechanism to hold him accountable for that.” She added that if her bill passes “then I could sue him, we, the people who were targeted by Lois Lerner, they could have sued her individually. They could have sued her personally and not only received damages and an injunction but also attorney’s fees.”

Schneider added, “We have seen it over and over and over where federal employees have initiated grant programs to silence us, created artificial intelligence to silence us, calling us domestic terrorists to try and stop us under anti-terrorism statutes.”

He then pointed out that Hageman’s bill would not only incentivize good behavior from top officials but also from rank-and-file executive branch employees who are often asked to do the heavy lifting. “This legislation will empower those lower-level, mid-level employees to be able to say to their bosses, to the cabinet secretaries and others, ‘I cannot do this. I cannot do what you are asking me to do. I cannot take this action that will deprive somebody of their constitutional rights because I might get sued.’”

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.