Kyl against First Amendment – Votes for Internet censorship

A m e r i c a n  P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N  S E N S E , in Arizona
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Kyl against First Amendment
Votes for Internet censorship
As reported in Aletho NewsThis is hardly a surprise but, this morning (as previously announced), the lame duck Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to move forward with censoring the internet via the COICA bill – despite a bunch of law professors explaining to them how this law is a clear violation of the First Amendment. What’s really amazing is that many of the same Senators have been speaking out against internet censorship in other countries, yet they happily vote to approve it here because it’s seen as a way to make many of their largest campaign contributors happy. There’s very little chance that the bill will actually get passed by the end of the term but, in the meantime, we figured it might be useful to highlight the 19 Senators who voted to censor the internet this morning:
  • Patrick J. Leahy – Vermont
  • Herb Kohl – Wisconsin
  • Jeff Sessions – Alabama
  • Dianne Feinstein – California
  • Orrin G. Hatch – Utah
  • Russ Feingold – Wisconsin
  • Chuck Grassley – Iowa
  • Arlen Specter – Pennsylvania
  • Jon Kyl – Arizona
  • Chuck Schumer – New York
  • Lindsey Graham – South Carolina
  • Dick Durbin – Illinois
  • John Cornyn – Texas
  • Benjamin L. Cardin – Maryland
  • Tom Coburn – Oklahoma
  • Sheldon Whitehouse – Rhode Island
  • Amy Klobuchar – Minnesota
  • Al Franken – Minnesota
  • Chris Coons – Delaware

This should be a list of shame. You would think that our own elected officials would understand the First Amendment but, apparently, they have no problem turning the US into one of the small list of authoritarian countries that censors internet content it does not like (in this case, content some of its largest campaign contributors do not like). We already have laws in place to deal with infringing content, so don’t buy the excuse that this law is about stopping infringement. This law takes down entire websites based on the government’s say-so. First Amendment protections make clear that if you are going to stop any specific speech, it has to be extremely specific speech. This law has no such restrictions. It’s really quite unfortunate that these 19 US Senators are the first American politicians to publicly vote in favor of censoring speech in America.


  1. No surprises here–McKyle has seen how the public comment had affected the re-election prospects of his daddy, John McAmnesty, and the other liberals in his social circle. McKyle doesn’t want to have to deal with that in 2012, so he will work to shut it down now. And, of course, he’ll claim he’s doing it to protect us. Remember, McAmnesty has already shown him how to destroy the 1st Amendment with McAmnesty-Feingold.

    Dump McKyle in 2012.

  2. Tom Coburn… what a shame! Other than that the list is the usual suspects.

  3. I don’t see McCain’s name on the list.

  4. So… legislation aimed at ending THEFT of intellectual property is now a violation of the First Amendment? I don’t remember that right being in there, but maybe I missed something.

    Color me confused.

  5. Ace, if someone proposed a law that allowed the government to shut down an entire car dealership if a car reported stolen was found on its lot, that would be a law against car theft, but it would be overly broad and violate 4th amendment rights. There should have to be at least a determination that the owners of the dealership were knowingly dealing in stolen vehicles in order to justify shutting down the dealership.

    That’s the problem with this law. It allows government administrators too much power to shut down web sites without getting rulings from a court case. The law gives too much power to government officials at the expense of individual civil rights. Stealing intellectual property is still illegal; media lobbyists simply want to get the government doing their enforcement work to make their clients’ lives easier and save them money.

  6. The votes cast on this issue are truly surprising and have to be brought into question as many of those at least on the Republican side claim to be Conservatives. My concern is if they’ll do this what else will they do. We must let those in the state who support our Senator know that they need to rethink the position they’re taking in support of Kyl, the one office holder I can think of is Leg. Jack Harper in LD-4 who says he supports Kyl we all need to let him know what we think of this and how it might effect our support of him and others thruout our state who support Sen. Kyl starting today. May all of you have a Blessed Thanksgiving. God Bless You All; Van the Radio Man

  7. Van:

    Right you are!

    Conservative state legislators must be alerted. They can put quite a bit more pressure on the Congressional delegation than others.

    Too bad we’re still stuck with the 17th Amendment.

    In any case, our bi-partisan rulers justifiably feeled threatened by a free internet.

    I see where the F.C.C. is voting to take it over in the near future also.

    We’ve got the Dems and their R.I.N.O pilot fish on the ropes, along with their mainstream media propaganda machine!

    This is their last flurry. Time for good counterpunching!

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