Don't Let Congress Amend the First Amendment
This article was originally published in the Hill. To read it in its entirety, click here.
As the president continues hacking away at a load-bearing pillar of the First Amendment, the freedom of the press, Congress is revving the chainsaw for another vital pillar; the right to free speech. The “Israel Anti-Boycott Act” could more aptly be called the “Exception to the First Amendment Act,” in that it would make it a felony for Americans engaged in interstate or foreign commerce to support international efforts to boycott Israel.
Of particular concern for many are the harsh penalties it would impose; civil penalties of up to $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of up to $1 million and 20 years in prison. Since the legislation’s quiet introduction in March by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a majority of House members and 48 senators have already co-sponsored the bill.
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