Proposed Florida Bill An Assault On Free Speech

March 3, 2023 in News by RBN Staff


Source: The Realist Report

– originally published by American Free Press

A proposed bill in the Florida state legislature, introduced by a number of largely Republican state representatives, would effectively criminalize certain forms of constitutionally protected free speech activities, including distributing flyers and other literature, if they display a “religious or ethnic animus.”

The controversial bill, HB 269, was introduced on Jan. 19 and has since been referred to the Criminal Justice Subcommittee, the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, and the Judiciary Committee.

In an apparent attempt to limit the First Amendment rights of Floridians, the bill would make it a felony offense to distribute literature, including pamphlets and flyers, that have a “religious or ethnic animus” if such literature drops were considered “littering.” The legal definition of stalking would also be updated to make it a felony for a person to willfully follow, harass, or interfere with another person based on a perceived religious or ethnic animus. Both offenses would be classified as “hate crimes,” a nebulous legal concept used by organized grievance groups to perpetuate their victimhood status and manufacture hysteria.

Florida’s Republican state Rep. Mike Caruso, a co-sponsor of the bill, introduced the legislation in part to enhance penalties for “anti-Semitic crimes,” which has largely centered around literature shared by various activist groups, including those associated with the Goyim Defense League.

Activists with the Goyim Defense League have caused a media firestorm during the past two years, dropping flyers and leaflets around the country that highlight Jewish individuals prominent in the Biden White House, in the mass media, involved at high levels in U.S. foreign policy, promoting gun control, and leading the nation’s response to the purported Covid-19 pandemic.

Numerous flyer drops by the activist group have been conducted in Florida, resulting in demands by organized Jewish groups to target those legally expressing their First Amendment rights.

“If we don’t do something now, then soon we just may have 1933 Nazi Germany here all over again,” Rep. Caruso hysterically stated when announcing the bill before invoking the Holocaust.

“We are called to stand for the six million Jews that were murdered by Hitler’s Nazis in World War II,” Caruso explained. “Today we are called to stand for the 672,000 Jews that live in Florida.”

Florida state Rep. Randy Fine, a co-sponsor of the bill, said everyone has “a right to be an idiot in the United States,” apparently referring to those sharing factually accurate flyers and other literature pointing out the role Jewish individuals play in various aspects of domestic and foreign policy in America. “You have the right to be a Nazi, but you do not have the right to be a Nazi and engage in criminal conduct.”

What exactly constitutes such criminal conduct is precisely the point of contention for those concerned about the exercise of free speech rights in Florida. A petition launched on to stop HB 269, which is currently before the Florida legislature’s Criminal Justice Subcommittee as AFP goes to press, describes the bill as “an egregious attack on our First Amendment right to free speech” by essentially “introducing ‘hate speech’ laws, which would set a precedent against all speech.”

Proponents of the bill have dishonestly attempted to characterize the flyering drops organized by activist groups like the Goyim Defense League as “littering,” thereby making it a criminal offense. Opponents counter that the activism and literature sharing is a protected form of free speech and is entirely legal.

“Democracy is only healthy when the spread of all ideas is protected,” the official Stop House Bill 269 in Florida’s petition notes. “Our nation was built on political discussion and debate.”

The weaponized concept of “hate speech” is an affront to the First Amendment and should not be regulated “as no individual or institution has the right to define what that entails,” the petition declares.

AMERICAN FREE PRESS will follow the progress or lack thereof of this controversial, anti-free speech bill, which represents yet another overt assault on the First Amendment in this country.

NB: This article was originally published by American Free Press on February 23, 2023. Subscribe to America’s last real newspaper today!