Columbia, SC – Today the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Subcommittee will consider S.255, a potentially unconstitutional bill that would chill free speech within the state. Nate Anderson, Deputy Director of Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), will testify before the subcommittee about the dangers of this measure.
S.255, introduced by state Senator Hugh Leatherman (R) earlier this year, would allow the state government to access the personal information – including names, addresses, occupations, and employers – of the citizens of South Carolina in an effort to uncover the causes they privately support. The bill force citizens to report this information.
Measures similar to S.255 have been ruled unconstitutional by South Carolina judges in the past.
CVA Deputy Director Nate Anderson issued the following statement:
“Veterans sacrificed for the right for all of us to stand up and speak freely about the issues we care about. But if S.255 passes, South Carolinians could be intimidated from supporting a cause or making a statement. This is America – no one should be forced to report their private information to the government and fear retaliation for their beliefs. We urge the state Senate to protect the First Amendment and block S.255 today.”
Last month, CVA launched a major effort to stop S.255, including phone banks, direct mail, a digital campaign, and targeted web ads aimed at Senators Mike Gambrell, Rex Rice, Tom Young, Stephen Goldfinch, and Sandy Senn.
In December of 2016, CVA launched “Defend the First,” a project dedicated to defending freedom of speech under the First Amendment. “Defend the First” takes a broad focus on threats against free speech – the ways the government uses private information of citizens to silence dissidents as well as an emerging culture of censorship in America.
If you are interested in speaking with CVA Deputy Director Nate Anderson regarding S.255 and the importance of freedom of speech, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.