California Democrat pushes new law to gut First Amendment

There seems to be nothing the Democrats in California won't do to fan the flames of the destruction of this country, its laws, and its institutions – and now, one of its essential founding documents, the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution.  We have making California a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, passing a law that makes it a crime for businesses to cooperate with federal authorities seeking to enforce immigration laws, automatically registering as voters all residents with driver's licenses (including 1 million illegal aliens) – and now, a state legislator who wants to, in effect, restrict or overturn the First Amendment that guarantees the unfettered and unregulated right to free speech.

The author of the proposed legislation is Dr. Richard Pan, a medical doctor whose specialty is pediatrics.  Pan, 52, like many of his Democrat colleagues in California's one-party state government, is a legislator on the far left.  He served in California's State Assembly for four years before his election to the California Senate in 2014.  Prior to running for elective office, Pan was a professor at the U.C. Davis Children's Hospital, where he led the pediatric residency program.

Joel B. Pollak, in an article at Breitbart on April 4, reported the shocking news about the new law Pan is proposing:

California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) has proposed a bill, the "Online False Information Act," that would require anyone who posts news on the Internet to verify their information through "fact-checkers."

The bill, filed quietly in late February as SB 1424, requires all California-based websites to develop a plan to fight "fake news," to use "fact-checkers," and to warn readers – including via social media – of "false information."

California state senator Dr. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).

The story seems unbelievable – but sadly, it is all too true.  Quoting from the proposed legislation:

(a) Any person who operates a social media Internet Web site with physical presence in California shall develop a strategic plan to verify news stories shared on its Internet Web site.

(b) The strategic plan shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) A plan to mitigate the spread of false information through news stories.

(2) The utilization of fact-checkers to verify news stories.

(3) Providing outreach to social media users regarding news stories containing false information.

(4) Placing a warning on a news story containing false information.

(c) As used in this section, "social media" means an electronic service or account, or electronic content, including, but not limited to, videos, still photographs, blogs, video blogs, podcasts, instant and text messages, email, online services or accounts, or Internet Web site profiles or locations.

According to Pollak at Breitbart, "[t]he bill would arguably impose onerous costs on individuals and businesses alike, and would serve as a tool for censorship by subjecting dissenting opinions to review via 'fact-checkers.'"

Journalist Jon Rappoport picked up and advanced the story in a column at his No More Fake News website on April 9, "Astonishing California bill would shut down free speech, require fact-checkers:"

California used to be trumpeted as the cutting edge of American culture.

It still is, except the culture is now all about censoring free speech.

California Senator Richard Pan, who was behind the infamous 2015 law mandating vaccinations for schoolchildren (SB277), has stepped up to the plate and introduced another bill.

This one would clamp down on criticism of ANY Official Story.

Both of these articles – Joel B. Pollak's at Breitbart and Jon Rappoport's – are important reading.

To date, other than Breitbart, reporting on S.B. 1424 has been minimal except for brief stories in some online new media and blogs.  Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit took note of the proposed law in an article on April 9 and concluded it with a quote from actor James Woods: "Scratch a liberal, find a fascist."

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.

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