Washington Examiner: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is a hypocrite on the First Amendment (In the News)

Washington Examiner: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is a hypocrite on the First Amendment

By Alex Baiocco

It is heartening to see that Whitehouse is now encouraging citizens (and corporations) to engage in political speech instead of yet again attempting to silence opposing viewpoints.

His statement demonstrates that he does indeed understand the value of First Amendment-protected advocacy. However, the statement is also an example of the far too common tendency among many politicians to view only friendly advocacy as legitimate.

The First Amendment protects the right of every American to privately support an environmental group. It also supports the right of every corporation to speak in opposition to the president’s actions regarding climate policy.

But Whitehouse must realize that the First Amendment also protects the right of citizens, nonprofit groups, and corporations to engage in political speech he opposes. In the end, his anti-speech objectives will harm the First Amendment rights of his allies as much as his opponents.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.