FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2018
CONTACT: Logan Elizabeth Padgett
The Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech in NIFLA v. Beccera
Today, The James Madison Institute thanks the Supreme Court of the United States for its 5-4 ruling in NIFLA v. Beccera. This ruling, that crisis pregnancy centers cannot be compelled by the government to make statements violating their consciences, is a victory for free speech and free association.
“Today, the Supreme Court made clear that the First Amendment does indeed matter. With its ruling in NIFLA v. Beccera, the Court declared that it is a violation of the First Amendment for the government to force an organization to post notices or signs that violate their principles. Justice Kennedy, in his concurring opinion, put it perfectly when he wrote that, ‘Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.’ Liberty was defended today with this ruling,” said Dr. Robert McClure, President and CEO of The James Madison Institute.
Free speech is the very first amendment in the Bill of Rights for a reason. Regardless of how one views the issue of abortion, the government should never be in the position of dictating that an organization must say things that violate their fundamental convictions. As an organization built upon the protection and defense of the Bill of Rights, JMI has worked on this issue in several arenas, including workers’ rights, higher education, and school choice. The First Amendment is a bedrock of our liberties and today the Supreme Court concurred with our belief in those principles.
“It should be abundantly clear from this ruling that the case was not about abortion – but rather freedom of speech. It is a very slippery slope from compelling speech at a crisis pregnancy center to compelling speech in other areas of our lives. When given the choice between supporting a government speech mandate or supporting the First Amendment, the choice is simple, and we thank the five Justices of the Supreme Court who saw it the same way” said Sal Nuzzo, Vice President of Policy at The James Madison Institute.
As Florida’s premier free-market think tank, The James Madison Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational organization. The Institute conducts research on such issues as health care, taxes, and regulatory environments.