Attack on free speech comes from a strange direction

You don’t have to be a lawyer to know that Senate Bill 1316 is D.O.A.

The bill would deprive Floridians of their First Amendment rights by requiring them to register with the government in order to speak about politicians in blogs.

Our minds are boggled.

It goes on to say that if you do write about a politician and are paid for it, you must disclose the amount you are paid.

Writing on a blog that is disseminated on the Web is exactly like standing on a street corner voicing your opinion or reciting facts. Every U.S. citizen has the right to do this.

It is not the government’s business what you say, or who you talk about.

What is shocking is that a Republican, Sen. Jason Brodeur of Lake Mary, filed the bill.

What on Earth is this about?

Brodeur may be unhappy with the biased coverage of Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-controlled Legislature, and we would agree that it is highly partisan and unfair.

But the media has the right to do it, even if most of their “news stories” are nothing more than opinion pieces. There are also some paid political bloggers that blatantly publish political propaganda on the Internet while posing as media outlets.

But it probably would be better to simply expose them rather than crossing constitutional lines in an effort to silence them.

It is inconceivable that Brodeur’s bill would be enacted and even more inconceivable that it would survive a test in a court of law.

Brodeur is a healthcare consultant, not a lawyer. But there is no shortage of lawyers employed by the Florida Legislature and state government and they are supposed to review legislation before it is submitted.

Of course, bills sometimes are filed merely to make a statement. Senate Bill 1248, called “The Ultimate Cancel Act” requires the Division of Elections to immediately cancel the filings of a political party, to include its registration and approved status as a political party, “if the party’s platform has previously advocated for, or been in support of, slavery or involuntary servitude.”

It is likely the bill never will get to a vote but if it did we would not expect any members of the Democrat Party, the party of slavery and segregation, to vote in favor.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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