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Michigan AG Rejects 1st Amendment, Threatens Prosecution for Thought-Crime—Showing Election Fraud

Nov. 12, 2020 (EIRNS)—Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Office of Public Information threatened to criminally prosecute a website unless it were to take down a video of alleged voting fraud posted as part of their series on #DetroitLeaks.

The letter reads: “This CEASE and DESIST notice is to inform you that you are in violation of Michigan Law. It has come to our attention that you have used your website to post misleading and false election information.... The videos violate Michigan law by intentionally misleading and altering information pertaining to elections.”

This is an absolutely outrageous escalation of the censorship becoming commonplace in the social media landscape—defended with cries of “private companies can do what they want!” In this case, the government itself is threatening prosecution for the publication of statements that state officials consider to be false.

The Supreme Court ruled in a 2011 case that “Freedom of speech and thought flows not from the beneficence of the state but from the inalienable rights of the person. And suppression of speech by the government can make exposure of falsity more difficult, not less so. Society has the right and civic duty to engage in open, dynamic, rational discourse. These ends are not well served when the government seeks to orchestrate public discussion through content-based mandates.”

In that case, a man was accused of breaking the Stolen Valor Act, which criminalized lying about having received military decorations. The judgment concluded:

“The Nation well knows that one of the costs of the First Amendment is that it protects the speech we detest as well as the speech we embrace. Though few might find respondent’s statements anything but contemptible, his right to make those statements is protected by the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of speech and expression. The Stolen Valor Act infringes upon speech protected by the First Amendment.”

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