Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas is leading an effort to repeal a law used to jail pro-life activists.
“Free Americans should never live in fear of their government targeting them because of their beliefs,” Roy told The Daily Signal.
“Yet, [President Joe] Biden’s Department of Justice has brazenly weaponized the FACE Act against normal, everyday Americans across the political spectrum, simply because they are pro-life,” he said.
“Free Americans should never live in fear of their government targeting them because of their beliefs.”
NEW: Rep. Roy moves to repeal the FACE Acthttps://t.co/jiKgtI8Weg
— Rep. Chip Roy Press Office (@RepChipRoy) September 19, 2023
Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah was expected to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.
Just last week, Jonathan Darnel, 41, of Arlington, Virginia; Jean Marshall, 73, of Kingston, Massachusetts; and Joan Bell, 74, of Montague, New Jersey, were convicted under the FACE Act in connection with a 2020 protest at a Washington abortion clinic, according to a Justice Department news release.
They could be sentenced to up to 11 years in prison.
These two >70 year old women face 11 years in prison after being convicted of violating the FACE Act…the same Federal law that they used to go after a pastor who pushed a sick creep away from his young son after disparaging sexual remarks were made at the child. In the latter… pic.twitter.com/SYBqsfkLvG
— CannCon (@CannConActual) September 19, 2023
“Our Constitution separates power between the federal government and the states for a reason, and we ignore that safeguard at our own peril,” Roy said. “The FACE Act is an unconstitutional federal takeover of state police powers; it must be repealed.”
Republican Reps. Chris Smith of New Jersey, Bob Good of Virginia, Andrew Clyde of Georgia, Jim Banks of Indiana, Anna Paulina Luna of Florida and Doug Lamborn of Colorado are among the co-sponsors of the repeal legislation.
Roy tried to defund enforcement of the act in April.
“The Biden Administration has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted to faithfully implement and enforce the FACE Act, as written by Congress. Until such a time, Congress ought to withhold the use of funds for enforcing this law and seriously consider repealing the statute in its entirety,” he said at the time in a letter to House Appropriations Committee members.
The FACE Act is not only unconstitutional, undermining state police powers, it has long been used as a weapon against the pro-life movement.
We should eviscerate the ammunition the weaponized DOJ is using to wage war against Americans fighting to protect the right to life. https://t.co/eVqYSSjW89
— Ryan Matthew Neuhaus (@RyanMNeuhaus) September 19, 2023
Some of those targeted by the DOJ under the FACE Act are represented by the Thomas More Society. Andrew Bath, general counsel for the conservative legal firm, told The Daily Signal the “egregious abuse of government power must stop.”
“The FACE Act has been weaponized by this administration,” he said. “Even if enforced honestly, the FACE Act is unconstitutional. If our constitutional system of separation of powers and the ideal of citizen self-government are to be preserved, the FACE Act must be repealed.”
Tom McClusky, director of government affairs at CatholicVote, said he supported the GOP-led effort to “take this weapon away from Joe Biden and restore the First Amendment right to peacefully protest.”
“The Biden administration has taken weaponization of government to a new level — his weapon of choice against pro-lifers has been the FACE Act, which has been mainly used to target peaceful pro-life activists who stand up for the unborn,” he said.
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