Opposing H.R. 6090 to Protect Free Speech on Campus
  1. United States
  2. Md.
  3. Letter

Opposing H.R. 6090 to Protect Free Speech on Campus

To: Rep. Ivey, Sen. Van Hollen, Sen. Cardin

From: A constituent in College Park, MD

May 10

I am writing to you as a concerned constituent to express my strong opposition to H.R. 6090, legislation that I believe threatens the fundamental freedoms of speech and expression on our college and university campuses. H.R. 6090 mandates the U.S. Department of Education to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism to evaluate claims of discrimination. While well-intentioned in its aim to combat anti-Semitism, this bill, through its application of the IHRA definition, risks imposing undue limitations on free speech. This definition encompasses a range of speech that is protected under the First Amendment, including critical discussions related to the state of Israel and its policies. Free expression is a cornerstone of our educational system and democracy, enabling students and faculty to engage in meaningful and often necessary debates on a wide array of issues. The broad and subjective standards proposed in H.R. 6090 could lead to a chilling effect on these discussions, as individuals might refrain from speaking out on sensitive topics due to fear of investigation or punishment. Colleges and universities have a moral and legal obligation to foster environments free from discrimination. However, addressing discrimination should not come at the expense of suppressing speech that is legally protected. Academic freedom and the exchange of ideas are critical to the intellectual and social development of our students and our nation as a whole. Therefore, I urge you to oppose H.R. 6090 and any similar legislation that compromises our cherished First Amendment rights. Please stand with me in supporting measures that both protect against discrimination and uphold free speech on campus. Thank you for considering my views on this crucial matter. I look forward to your response and your actions to defend the freedoms that define our nation.

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