The following was submitted by New England First Amendment Coalition Executive Director Justin Silverman to N.H. State House Judiciary Committee Chairwomen Marjorie Smith & Martha Hennessey.
Dear Chairwomen Smith and Hennessey,
I’m writing on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition, the region’s leading advocate for press freedom and open government.
NEFAC strongly opposes House Bill 1157. The legislation is unwise, undemocratic and unconstitutional. The bill is a violation of the right to freedom of the press guaranteed by the New Hampshire and United States constitutions. It fails to consider the strict protections afforded by the First Amendment and undermines the editorial judgment of news publishers throughout the state. The bill is such an outlier that there appears to be no similar legislation proposed anywhere in the country during the last two years.