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At least 20 Republican-led states are preparing to take action against the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “Disinformation Governance Board,” a letter penned by Virginia’s attorney general shows.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, who is at the forefront of the fight, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday insisting he “immediately cease taking action that appears designed exclusively for the purpose of suppressing the exercise of constitutional rights,” according to Fox News.
The letter states:
“As the chief legal officers of our respective States, we the undersigned Attorneys General are tasked not just with enforcing the laws, but with protecting the constitutional rights of all our citizens. Today we write you to insist that you immediately cease taking action that appears designed exclusively for the purpose of suppressing the exercise of constitutional rights.”
Miyares argued that the board “will inevitably have a chilling effect on free speech” by creating a society where Americans would be afraid of sharing their opinions.
The letter also claims that the DHS lacks statutory authority to create the board in the first place, adding that the GOP states are ready to take legal action against the agency if it ignores their demands.
“Unless you turn back now and disband this Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board immediately, the undersigned will have no choice but to consider judicial remedies to protect the rights of their citizens,” the letter concludes.
In addition to Virginia, Republican attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia have signed the letter.
GOP lawmakers have also taken action against the board by introducing legislation prohibiting the use of federal funds to finance it, as per the Washington Examiner.
“The Biden administration wants a government agency dedicated to cracking down on what its subjects can say, an idea popular with Orwellian governments everywhere,” said Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ariz., leading the group of GOP lawmakers.
“This board is unconstitutional and un-American — my bill puts a stop to it,” he continued.