On the same day that the Bill of Rights had its 229th birthday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo celebrated the occasion by signing a bill into law that bans free speech in the state.
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution were ratified on December 15, 1791. Known as the Bill of Rights, these amendments didn’t create and/or grant us our rights as they are endowed to us by our Creator, not government. Instead, they were added to the Constitution to confirm and guarantee those rights.
But thanks to Andrew Cuomo, the citizens of New York find their right to free speech in danger of being nullified by the government the Bill of Rights were designed to protect them from.
In today’s America, hardly a day goes by where tyrants like Andrew Cuomo aren’t trying to deny free speech, a free press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, the right to private property, the right to fair treatment for accused criminals, the right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure, and the right of the states (the people) to have the final word on matters not covered by the Constitution.
While the assault against the Bill of Rights has been going on for many decades now — I’ve documented in hundreds of articles since launching the Strident Conservative — it has intensified at the hands of everyone from the Far-Left to the so-called conservative-right.
On the same day that he told restaurant owners to be grateful that he was allowing them to remain open under his coronavirus mandates, Andrew Cuomo took tyranny to a new level by signing State Senate Bill S8298B, an anti-free speech bill banning the sale of so-called “hate symbols” such as the Confederate flag, swastikas, and “white supremacist” imagery on state property.
While Andre Cuomo plays the politically correct “hate” card to justify signing the bill, the New York Post reports that it’s directly aimed at free speech — a fact that even Cuomo himself admits is true.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law aimed at banning the sale of “hate symbols” such as the Confederate flag or the swastika on state property — even while admitting the new edict might clash with the First Amendment and be struck down as unconstitutional.
The new law — effective immediately — prohibits the sale of hate symbols on public grounds including state and local fairs, and also severely limits their display unless deemed relevant to serving an educational or historical purpose.
But Cuomo said the rule likely needs “certain technical changes” so the Empire State doesn’t get caught treading upon free speech protections codified in the Constitution’s First Amendment.
Cuomo’s statement about the need for “certain technical changes” is an example of the classic “it’s not perfect” defense used by politicians when they know a piece of legislation is bad — in this case, unconstitutional — but they pass it anyway. They get to give the illusion that they’re actually concerned about protecting our rights while simultaneously advancing their tyrannical ambitions.
“This country faces a pervasive, growing attitude of intolerance and hate — what I have referred to in the body politic as an American cancer,” Cuomo wrote in his approval message.
“By limiting the display and sale of the confederate flag, Nazi swastika and other symbols of hatred from being displayed or sold on state property, including the state fairgrounds, this will help safeguard New Yorkers from the fear-installing effects of these abhorrent symbols.”
He continued: “While I fully support the spirit of this legislation, certain technical changes are necessary to balance the State’s interests in preventing the use of hate symbols on state land with free speech protections embodied in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
So, is the bill almost perfect as Cuomo claims? Will it reach perfection after the “technical changes” are made? Or is it the blatant attack on free speech everyone not named Cuomo knows it is?
Noted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams argues Cuomo may have a larger problem on his hands, extending beyond a quick “technical” fix.
“Governor Cuomo is correct that the First Amendment may require changes in the law in light of the First Amendment. A private entity can choose to sell or not sell offensive symbols but when the government bans the sale of offensive, but constitutionally protected symbols, on its property the First Amendment comes into play,” Abrams told The Post.
Liberty has been under intense assault on the national level ever since 9/11 when George W. Bush ushered in a host of laws effectively destroying the Bill of Rights in America. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the PATRIOT Act and PATRIOT Act II, and National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Americans are only a few of the programs begun under Bush and continued under Obama and Trump.
Over the past four years, 9/11 was the influence behind giving the NSA more spying power with the creation of the U.S. Cyber Command within the Agency along with the reauthorization of FISA 702, which gave the NSA new authority to conduct warrantless electronic surveillance on Americans.
Trump has damaged the Bill of Rights in many other ways that would make Andrew Cuomo jealous with envy. Here are a few examples in no particular order:
- He sought to ban demonstrations and protests in Washington, DC.
- He embraced Pelosi’s gun-control agenda, banned bump stocks, and pushed for enhanced background checks and red flag laws.
- He suggested ignoring due process rights to allow government to seize guns.
- He refers to the news media as the “enemy of the America people” and recently announced his intention to sue CNN for “anti-Trump” bias.
- He has suggested having the government spy on Americans in their homes using Apple Watches, Amazon Echo, and Google Home.
- He proposed requiring social media companies to develop tracking tools to “detect mass shooters before they strike.”
- He urged Congress to give the NSA permanent authority to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic communications.
- His DOJ took Google and Apple to court, demanding they turn over personal information on users of a phone app that calibrates rifle scopes.
- He has proposed creating a phone app to conduct remote background checks via the NICS system. The app would give government greater access to personal information without due process and would eventually lead to the creation of a de facto national gun registry.
229 years ago, the Bill of Rights was born, but thanks to tyrants like Andrew Cuomo at the state level and Donald Trump at the federal level banning free speech along with the rest of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, it wasn’t a very happy birthday.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.