An Act To Protect Political Speech and Prevent Climate Change Policy Profiling
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA c. 337-D is enacted to read:
§ 4751. Legislative findings
The Legislature finds that the courts have accorded political speech the highest level of protection from abridgment.
The Legislature, in agreement with the United States Supreme Court, finds no basis for the proposition that, in the context of political speech, the government may impose restrictions on certain disfavored speakers.
The Legislature finds that statutory prohibitions on state action concerning political speech are necessary in order to ensure the highest level of protection for political speech.
§ 4752. Limitations on Attorney General's authority concerning protected political speech
§ 4753. Climate change policy preferences
This bill reinforces the recognition that political speech is deserving of the greatest protection from abridgment by the government. The United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), continued the protection of protected political speech, no matter the source or message. This bill provides explicit legislative findings to reinforce the United States Supreme Court decision and to clearly state the need for statutory protections of protected political speech.
The bill specifically prohibits the Attorney General from investigating, joining an investigation initiated by another state or the Federal Government or prosecuting any person based on that person's protected political speech. It also prohibits the Attorney General from using the Attorney General's prosecutorial power to favor or disfavor protected political speech.
The bill also prohibits the State from favoring or disfavoring any person based on the person's climate change policy preferences with regard to grants, contracts or employment.