House Judiciary Impeachment Counsels: Elected Officials Don't Have Free Speech

Democrat legal theorists have really been breaking exciting new ground this year.

So far they've discovered that...

1. The 25th Amendment wasn't a response to the JFK assassination clarifying medical disability, but a way to remove presidents you don't like via a cabinet coup.

2. That saying "fight" in a speech is incitement

3. That free speech doesn't apply to elected officials.

This latest exciting new legal theory comes from two advisors to the last House Democrat impeachment vendetta who makes this inventive claim in an op-ed.

"Tacitly recognizing as much, some Republicans have retreated to makeshift claims that Trump cannot be impeached because his speech at the rally was protected by the First Amendment... To start, it turns the First Amendment upside down: the Free Speech Clause exists to protect private citizens from the government, not to protect government officials from accountability for their own abusive statements. The Supreme Court has held that government officials and public employees enjoy substantially reduced First Amendment protection for speech relating to the performance of their official duties."

Free speech is for everyone. Government officials are also citizens. Since a major purpose of freedom of speech was protecting political participation, denying it to elected officials would undermine a basic reason for its existence.

It's like saying that the Second Amendment never meant for individuals to own guns.

That doesn't mean that government employees, like all employees, can say anything they like without being fired. The First Amendment isn't meant to interfere in workplace relations in the government.

President Trump was giving a political speech as a candidate, not as POTUS. He wasn't addressing the nation from the Oval Office, he was speaking to a political rally of his supporters.

The First Amendment applies.

"More important, any “free speech” defense gets the Impeachment Clause wrong. The articles of impeachment against Presidents Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and Trump (from just a year ago) all arose, in part, from statements they had made. Yet in none of these cases did anyone assert that the First Amendment barred impeachment."

The difference is that the impeachment here doesn't involve statements made under oath, statements made during the course of official duties, or statements indicating knowledge of a criminal conspiracy that were made in a private setting, but a public speech at a political rally.

The sum of the idiotic Democrat impeachment argument, when stripped of all the editorializing, is that President Trump said, "fight" at a political rally.

Trying to criminalize a politician saying, "fight" at a political rally is an attack on the First Amendment and participation in our political system.

 

Share

Wondering what happened to your Disqus comments?

Read the Story