‘First Amendment has been under assault’: Is Rep. Jordan right urging voters to elect GOP?


Fact Box

  • On March 24, 2022, Rep. Jim Jordan told Fox News that “the First Amendment has been under assault” by Democrats mentioning, “Your right to practice your faith, your right to assemble, your right to petition the government, freedom of press, freedom of speech - every single one.” He urged Republicans to consider their rights as the midterms elections come in November. 
  • US congressional elections will be held on November 8, 2022; a total of 469 seats will be up for election (34 Senate seats and 435 House seats). 
  • A January 2022 Gallup poll found that congressional approval fell to 18% from a high of 36% in March 2021. Separated by party, Congress approval rating was 26% for Democrats, 17% for Independents, and 9% for Republicans. 
  • The First Amendment of the US Constitution reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Andrew (No)

Representative Jim Jordan is right, the first amendment is under attack, but he's wrong about who to blame. Jordan seems confused in pinning these assaults on the amendment on the Left as GOP-controlled state legislatures such as Florida's have passed legislation aimed at eliminating protests (freedom of assembly) and aimed at free speech through recent bills such as the 'Stop WOKE act.' All around the nation, Republicans are working to silence anyone working toward racial justice by using boogeyman labels like critical race theory, woke, and political correctness run amok. Clearly, the party which is actively working to stifle protest and mandating what corporations and schools can teach is not the party to stand up for the first amendment.

Jordan's confusion continued in his statement as he addressed court-packing, which isn't covered by the first amendment, though it is a crucial issue. Perhaps the most egregious recent example of this was when Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans blocked a confirmation hearing of President Obama's SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland, ultimately tipping the court's balance to the right.

Jordan also proclaimed that Big Tech regulations need to be overhauled, hinting at a favorite Republican claim that conservative views are unfairly censored on social media. This claim has been debunked, and Facebook, for example, has been shown to go out of its way to allow content from extreme right-wing sources to stay on its platform despite violating its terms of use. Jordan's claims that Democrats are to blame for the assault on the first amendment are disingenuous, and if he really cares about these dearly held rights, he should examine the actions of his own party.

Curtice (Yes)

Representative Jim Jordan is correct for stating the First Amendment is under assault by Democrats. One need look no further than many of the draconian measures Democrat governors and mayors enacted during the COVID pandemic. The First Amendment does not just address freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also 'the right of the people peaceably to assemble.'

During the COVID lockdowns imposed across the country, faithful adherents were prohibited from attending church; people could not gather together; parents were fined or sometimes arrested for playing in the park with their kids. As already noted, much of the most extreme enforcement occurred in Democrat-controlled jurisdictions.

Yet, BLM and Antifa riots were permitted to plague cities across America in the summer of 2020. Although most COVID restrictions were still in place, they were encouraged and excused by Left-wing politicians and media commentators because they were for Left-wing approved causes (such as furthering the lie that America is 'systemically racist').

Add to this the memo issued by Attorney General Merrick Garland, at the behest of the National School Board Association, to sic federal law enforcement on local school board meetings. It was a transparent attempt to intimidate parents. The NSBA found a willing partner in Biden's Justice Department to consider parents at school board meetings “domestic terrorists.”

The White House has also outright encouraged social media companies to censor 'misinformation,' or any position contrary to the Democrat-run White House or mainstream media. Biden’s administration is eager to let the social media giants do their bidding, and these companies are eager to comply. Democrats have continuously wielded federal, state, and local government power to stifle First Amendment protections of those whose opinions differ from their own, and Republicans should draw voters' attention to it.

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