Free speech under attack in Nevada

Andy Matthews

Our country has always recognized that people have an inherent right to free speech.

Hi, I’m Andy Matthews.

Even before the Constitution was adopted, founders like James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay embodied the right of Americans to speak freely and anonymously. Nearly 200 years later, the United States Supreme Court recognized that right when it protected the right of NAACP donors to remain anonymous.

In 1995, the court even upheld the ability to distribute anonymous campaign literature.

As the First Amendment makes clear, the right to free speech does not include a caveat that one must state his name before delivering his message.

Unfortunately, Secretary of State Ross Miller has worked hard to hinder the free-speech rights of Nevadans.

For years, Miller has aggressively pushed legislation limiting Americans’ free-speech rights by mandating that groups talking about politicians in a certain way disclose their funding sources. In response to ads criticizing him for accepting $60,000 in gifts from special interest groups, Miller’s supporters have filed a complaint to find out who’s paying for the ad blitz.

In today’s political climate, when individuals are vehemently and personally attacked from the Senate floor for their political positions and groups in the political minority are targeted by the IRS for investigations, it is more important than ever to protect every individual’s right to speak anonymously.

If unchecked, Miller’s efforts to erode free speech will allow the politically powerful to use the government’s power to harass, harm and intimidate minority speech, which is exactly why the First Amendment protects all speech in the first place.