The Corner

Law & the Courts

Can Government Force You to Speak against Your Beliefs?

That is the huge First Amendment question presented by National Institute of Family and Life Institutes v. Becerra.

The defendant, Becerra, is the attorney general of California and at issue is the constitutionality of a statute that compels pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise the availability of free or low-cost abortions courtesy of the state. The Supreme Court has historically taken a very dim view of laws that force people to say things they don’t want to, but advocates of the law say it’s no big deal.

The Court heard oral arguments last Tuesday.

In my latest Forbes article, I argue that if the Court upholds the statute, it would do terrible damage to the First Amendment and set a most unhealthy precedent that “progressives” might not like.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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