No free speech defense for Georgia congresswoman

Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene wore a Covid-19 mask with the words FREE SPEECH on it when she defended herself in the House of Representatives for past statements including a call to assassinate Speaker Nancy Pelosi, but the House still voted 230-199 with 11 Republicans to strip her of her committee assignments. Some Republican members of Congress found it troubling that a member was punished for statements made before they were elected. (Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2021, by Alan Fram, Brian Slodysko and Kevin Freking of The Associated Press)

Law professor Eugene Volokh, Reason, February 5, 2021, argues that stripping Greene of her committee assignments did not violate the First Amendment. Volokh says it’s analogous to a president appointing high level officials whose speech he likes and dismissing nominees perhaps for past speech he dislikes. These decisions are political and the Constitution doesn’t dictate them.