George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said that President Joe Biden’s speech about democracy “seemed rather conflicting” in the details Friday.
Biden claimed former President Donald Trump promised an “assault on democracy” during the Friday speech near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, saying defending democracy was a “central cause” of his administration. During the speech, Biden cited the riot at the Capitol building during the certification of the electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021.
“He lost me in the specifics,” Turley told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. “He talks about democracy being on the ballot but the ballot isn’t very democratic, his own party is trying to strip ballots of Donald Trump’s name to prevent people who want to vote for what appears to be the leading candidate for the presidency from doing that.”
Democratic Secretary of State Shenna Bellows of Maine ruled Trump was ineligible for the office of President of the United States Dec. 28, citing the 14th Amendment’s “insurrection” clause. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled Trump was disqualified from appearing on the ballot in the 2024 election in a 4-3 decision Dec. 19. The Supreme Court took up Trump’s appeal Friday.
“So when he’s talking about the freedom to vote and have your vote count, his party is actively trying to prevent that and saying, really, you’re not just voting for me, just think you’re voting for democracy,” Turley continued. “For those people, they really feel like, if we vote for you, do we get democracy back next time? Are we going to have all of the candidates on the ballot? I don’t think that effort will succeed.”
Turley also pointed out the Biden administration’s efforts to censor critics. United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued an injunction July 4 prohibiting Biden administration officials with multiple agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services, from contacting social media companies to push for “the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”
The Supreme Court is considering whether to hear an appeal from the Biden administration.
“It’s worth noting when he talks about the freedom of speech, the Biden administration I have written before, is the most anti-free-speech administration since the administration of John Adams,” Turley said. “I mean, his administration has carried out what a federal court called an Orwellian censorship program with the help of social media companies.”
“Part of the speech was, in fact uplifting, but then when you got down to the details, it seemed rather conflicting for this president,” Turley concluded.
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