It’s safe to say Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr doesn’t often agree with the Biden administration. This year alone, he’s led Georgia in challenging the president’s federal policies about a dozen times and over a variety of issues ranging from mask mandates to immigration.
Now Georgia’s top attorney is taking on the president’s creation of the Disinformation Governance Board, a federal watchdog agency announced as part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Joining a coalition of 20 attorneys general, Carr sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking to shut down the Disinformation Governance Board on grounds its creation is “an example of federal overreach.”
“It is stunning that the Biden administration believes itself to be the arbiter of truth, so much so that it has devoted federal resources to the creation of this board,” Carr said in a statement. “The president does not have the authority to censor public discourse, and to do so would infringe upon the First Amendment right enjoyed by all law-abiding citizens. The creation of this board is alarming at best and unconstitutional at worst, and must not go forward.”
Carr also took to Twitter to announce his challenge of the board’s creation.
“[In Case You Missed It]: We’re pushing back against the Biden administration’s supposed ‘Disinformation Governance Board,’” Carr tweeted. “The creation of this board is unconstitutional, & it should be disbanded immediately.”
ICYMI: We’re pushing back against the Biden administration’s supposed “Disinformation Governance Board.”
The creation of this board is unconstitutional, & it should be disbanded immediately.
Read more here ➡️ https://t.co/twWdKVg2cM pic.twitter.com/3CqZMc4KoL
— GA AG Chris Carr (@Georgia_AG) May 9, 2022
‘Chilling Free Speech’
Along with Carr, attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia contended the federal board’s creation would result in violations of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“The Disinformation Governance Board, by its very existence, and almost certainly by design, threatens to ‘enforce silence’ when Americans wish to express views disfavored by the Administration. It is therefore already chilling free speech and impeding the political process in Virginia and every other state,” wrote Virginia Attorney General Jason S. Miyares, who penned the letter. “This is unconstitutional, illegal, and un American. 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.”
Read the Letter
Alleging the board’s creation would encourage self-censorship rather than the protection of freedom of speech, the attorneys general argued no statutory authority existed to support the federal Disinformation Governance Board’s development.
As Carr and other attorneys general challenge the board’s creation, the scope of its power, however, remains a bit of a mystery.
According to a statement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “the working group does not have any operational authority or capability.”
Meanwhile, the agency countered the attorneys general’s allegations of potential freedom of speech infringements as a result of the board’s existence.
“The Department is deeply committed to doing all of its work in a way that protects Americans’ freedom of speech, civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy. In fact, the Disinformation Governance Board is an internal working group that was established with the explicit goal of ensuring these protections are appropriately incorporated across DHS’s disinformation-related work and that rigorous safeguards are in place,” the agency’s statement read. “The working group also seeks to coordinate the Department’s engagements on this subject with other federal agencies and a diverse range of external stakeholders.”