Nikki Haley Either Completely Hates or Understands Nothing About the First Amendment

by | Nov 17, 2023 | Opinion

Guest post by John Lore

Nikki Haley, the Establishment darling of GOP Inc. who should probably go be president of the Bush War Crimes Institute (it’s not real but at this point might as well exist) has called for banning anonymous speech, claiming it to be “a national security threat.” Not only is her advocacy for such a censorious policy absurd, it is an affront to the Foundation of the Republic.

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Neocon Nikki’s proposal is a full-fledged assault on the First Amendment. National Ass’n for Advancement of Colored People v. State of Ala. ex rel. Patterson, 357 U.S. 449 (1958) (hereinafter, NAACP v. AL).  In NAACP v. AL, the Attorney General of Alabama, who had known ties to the Ku Klux Klan, sought to force the Alabama chapter of the NAACP to turn over the names and addresses of their members to his office so these members could face government retaliation for their advocacy for the advancement of civil rights. The Supreme Court unanimously held that the First Amendment forbids such government orders as the people have Freedom of Speech and Assembly, and with such rights, the right to invoke those rights anonymously. The Court recognized 65 years ago what Nikki Haley fails to recognize today, that there is a “vital relationship between freedom to associate and privacy in one’s associations.”  NAACP v. AL, 357 U.S. at 462.  

The Court made this finding with the understanding that “revelation of the identity of [the NAACP’s] rank-and-file members has exposed these members to economic reprisal, loss of employment, threat of physical coercion, and other manifestations of public hostility.”  NAACP v. AL, 357 U.S. at 462. The Court ultimately held that forced identification of a speaker may as well constitute an effort to silence the speaker by means of Cancel Culture, Heckler’s Vetoes, and often outright violence. Today, Nikki Haley’s mob is attempting to use the same anti-rights approach against liberty advocates that the segregationist South used against advocates against Jim Crow.  Nikki Haley deserves the same treatment to which she subjected symbols of Southern Heritage.

What is stunning is that NAACP v. AL is not the only case reaffirming the right of anonymous speech and association, but this right was just recently reaffirmed by the Supreme Court, once again, in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, 141 S.Ct. 2373 (2021) (hereinafter AFPF v. Bonta).  In AFPF v. Bonta, Communist California attempted to force the Americans for Prosperity Foundation to reveal the identities of their member and donors, attempting to do exactly what the Jim Crow-controlled Alabama attempted to do to the member of the NAACP.  The Supreme Court likewise stopped California from doing this, as compelling the identity of a speaker or members of an association violates the First Amendment.  

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I am perfectly comfortable putting my name to my words.  Not all Americans are. Not all Americans were. James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay wrote the Federalist Papers, the largest PR campaign for the adoption of the Constitution, anonymously.  A widow named Silence Dogood – oh wait, that’s Benjamin Franklin’s anonymous pen-name – wrote satirical criticisms of Colonial American lifestyle, entertaining readers, but offering biting criticism at the same time. The Founding Fathers not only engaged in anonymous speech and assembly, they defended it openly in the halls of Congress. 4 Annals of Cong. 900–902, 941–942 (1795) (explaining that the First Amendment protects “leave to assemble” for organizations that meet in secret and hide the identities of their members).  

And as Clarence Thomas has opined upon, anonymity is an essential means by which the Freedoms protected in the First Amendment flourishes. McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S. 334, 361–367 (1995) (THOMAS, J., concurring) (“Founding-era Americans” understood the freedom of the press to include the right of printers and publishers not to be compelled to disclose the authors of anonymous works). Nikki Haley despises our First Amendment and should be rejected by every American who took an oath to America’s Founding Document.

Ultimately, Nikki Haley’s conduct should be swiftly condemned, but should not come as a surprise. She’s used government to target her opponents before, like when she promoted a gag order on gun owners exposing how weak she is on the Second Amendment.

Nikki Haley is a Fraud. Nikki Haley is America Last. Nikki Haley is pro-censorship, and anti-Constitution. There is no place for Nikki Haley in a Republican Party that stands for principle.

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