Republican Liberty Caucus Wants Senators to Stand for the Constitution and Free Speech
AUSTIN, TX — In the controversial Snyder vs. Phelps case, which is currently being considered by the Supreme Court, a group of Senators have filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff and in opposition to the free speech rights of Westboro Baptist Church Pastor Fred Phelps.
While the Republican Liberty Caucus in no way condones or supports Phelps’ behavior or beliefs, we believe that even those who hold utterly reprehensible beliefs have a fundamental right to free speech protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. As RLC National Secretary Eric Wall put it, “I will never agree with what Fred Phelps has to say. However the right to free speech, no matter how abhorrent, offensive or controversial the actual words spoken may be, should be honored and respected by all Americans as a crucially important part of our republican form of government.”
These Senators who are attempting to influence the Supreme Court to rule against the Bill of Rights, have lost touch with the most fundamental principles on which our free society is founded. Most of the Senators who signed the brief are Democrats and we would expect no less from members of a party which has worked hard to degrade and diminish the individual liberty and Constitutional rights of our citizens in the last two years. However, thirteen of these Senators are Republicans who have forgotten the fundamental principles on which our party was founded. RLC National Chairman Dave Nalle asks “If these Senators stand in opposition to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in this case, then how can we trust them to respect our rights? Their oath of office requires them to defend the Constitution. They should not be advising the Supreme Court to violate anyone’s freedom of speech.”
These thirteen Senators are: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), Bob Bennett (UT), John Barasso (WY), Sam Brownback (KS), Richard Burr (NC), Susan Collins (ME), Mike Crapo (ID), Chuck Grassley (IA), Mike Johanns (NE), George LeMieux (FL), Jim Risch (ID), Pat Roberts (KS) and David Vitter (LA). Most of these Senators have a history of voting against individual liberty and the best interests of the people again and again. Republicans in Utah have already rejected Bob Bennett’s big-government. anti-liberty record, defeating him in their primary. These other Republicans who also seem not to understand the Constitution should take this as a warning that they will be held accountable as they come up for reelection in the next four years.
We trust that the Supreme Court will not be swayed by the arguments of opportunistic politicians and will remember that when it protects Fred Phelps’ right to be offensive it also protects the right of every citizen to have and express any opinion without fear of interference or persecution.
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The Republican Liberty Caucus is a nationwide grassroots organization which promotes individual liberty and limited government within the Republican Party. You can find more information about the Republican Liberty Caucus at www.rlc.org.