A group of 20 attorneys general from Republican-led states have written to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) threatening to go to court to challenge the agency’s new “Disinformation Governance Board.”
Fox News reported Thursday that the top legal officers of the states said the new board is “un-American” and threatens to harm free speech rights nationwide.
The group is led by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and sent their letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas demanding that the department “cease taking action” that creates a “chilling effect” on free speech rights.
The letter told Mayorkas that the creation of the board is “downright alarming” and amounts to an unacceptable encroachment on free thought and the exchange of ideas and opinions that disagree with political majorities or the government.
The timing of the creation of the disinformation board is called into question, given the Biden administration’s recent “flagging” of “problematic” posts on social media and has worked directly with Big Tech firms to censor or remove “misinformation” from public availability on the internet.
The attorneys general also note the board was set up just after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk reached an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Twitter’s stock. Musk has publicly declared his intention to make the Twitter platform more friendly to the principles of free speech.
The letter said that just as the Biden administration has lost a reliable ally in Twitter to serve its “campaign to suppress speech it deems problematic,” the DHS has created a new office to “continue that work within the federal government.”
The GOP attorneys said that the timing of these events is “hard to explain away as mere coincidence.” They add that the new board raises “troubling questions” about the administration’s “practice of coordinating with private-sector companies to suppress disfavored speech.”
The letter also criticizes the choice of Nina Jankowicz as executive director of the new board. They say she is “often in error but never in doubt,” noting her prior statements that the infamous Hunter Biden laptop was a fabricated product of a “disinformation campaign” and that the theory that COVID-19 originated in a leak from a Chinese facility was an invented story to help President Donald Trump in his reelection efforts.
The attorneys general ultimately told Mayorkas that unless he acts now to “disband this Orwellian” board, they will consider judicial remedies to protect the constitutional rights of Americans.