Dem Senator Gives Away the Game on Suppressing Speech, Including Scary Take on 1st Amendment

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

We’ve seen a lot of ignorance about the Constitution, especially from Democrats when the Constitution tends to butt up against their ability to control things.


I wrote last week about Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), who suggested that you could read guilt into invoking the 5th Amendment. That’s pretty scary when you hear a lawmaker having such a hot take on the Constitution, which he’s sworn to uphold but doesn’t seem to understand.

But it gets worse with the new lawmaker entrant in the “We don’t understand the Constitution” brigade — Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD).

Cardin has been a senator since 2007. He’s the Chair of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee and is a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Environment & Public Works committees. He’s been a politician in Maryland since 1967 and became a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1987. His website also claims that he graduated first in his class from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1967.

So, one would think he might have an understanding of the Constitution and the First Amendment, after being in Congress for 35 years. Except not so much. What he says here is some scary stuff.


“If you espouse hate, if you espouse violence, you’re not protected under the First Amendment,” Cardin, wrongly, said. Then he made it much worse. “I think we can be more aggressive in the way that we handle that type of use of the internet. We know that Europe has done things. I think we have to learn from each other,”
he said.

This is categorically wrong. The First Amendment explicitly protects hateful speech, and it even protects speech that might mention violence, unless that speech is inciting imminent, lawless action. Didn’t they teach anything at his law school? But, you don’t even need to attend law school to know this. So, either he doesn’t understand it. Or he doesn’t care about the Constitution and is just lying to us to push the control that they want. Either way, it’s very bad. Where are the Democrats to call out this “misinformation” on Twitter?

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression was among the many accounts to chastise Cardin.

After the backlash you would expect, Cardin tried to clean it up, but he didn’t make it any better, still revealing his ignorance.

“Although the First Amendment protects even hateful speech, if that speech motivates someone to commit a crime, engage in violence, or take action that infringes on someone else’s right, that speech is not protected under the First Amendment and there must be accountability,” wrote Cardin.


Again, no–unless the speech is made with the intent to incite imminent, lawless action, and that it is likely to produce such acts. So, what he said is wrong.

Who gets to determine what “hate speech” is? Cardin seems to think that’s up to the government. He gives away the game and makes it clear they’re coming after speech, with “hate” as an excuse. They’re not even hiding wanting to suppress speech anymore. And Cardin cites Europe, which has already started down that dark road and is an acid bath of violating people’s rights. If he wants to learn from them, that should frighten us all.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos