Michigan Dems Push to Criminalize “Offensive” Speech: Free Speech on the Line?

The liberal Democrats in Michigan have once again pushed their radical agenda with the passage of HB 4474, which would give prosecutors the power to prosecute so-called “hate speech” and other “bias-related” crimes. Michigan’s 1988 ethnic intimidation law would be expanded, giving prosecutors even more power to go after individuals who “offend” others. The proposed legislation is so broad and vague that it could be interpreted in any number of ways and used to prosecute anyone who doesn’t fit the liberal, politically correct mold.

The amendment to the law would add the term “severe mental anguish” as an offense under the category of hate speech. This means that any word that someone finds offensive could be prosecuted, causing a ripple effect of chilling free speech among citizens. Additionally, intimidation and harassment would be expanded under the new law and could be brought against individuals for willful conduct or actions that cause someone to feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.” The amendment is so broad that anything spoken or performed could be interpreted as criminal conduct.

The bill sponsor, Noah Arbit, claims he is doing this to protect minorities in Michigan. But in reality, he’s just trying to score political points with the far-left for his own personal gain. This entire bill is a slippery slope that strips away the rights of the citizens and opens the door for the government to prosecute anyone for speaking their minds.

The notion that hate speech and hate actions are on the rise is just a ploy to get people on board with this atrocious legislation. Of course, hateful rhetoric and actions should be condemned, but suppressing free speech in the process is not the answer. If this bill becomes law, anyone who dares to speak out against the liberal agenda could be charged with a crime.

Republican lawmakers are rightfully raising concerns about the ramifications of this bill and how it impacts free speech. Attorney David Kallman of the Great Lakes Justice Center, a non-profit legal organization, cautions that the bill’s language is absurdly vague and subjective, allowing the victim to interpret intimidate and harass to mean whatever they want it to mean. He notes that the focus is on how the victim feels and that prosecutors could use the bill to go after conservatives, pastors, and parents attending school board meetings who express their opposition to liberal policies.

It’s time for Michigan to reject this unconstitutional bill and restore the rights of citizens to speak their minds without fear of prosecution. The state needs to stay true to its roots of freedom of speech and expression and reject the tactics of the radical left.

Source: Trending Politics

Written by Staff Reports

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