Rockford, Ill. (ECWd) –
Governor Pritzker’s signing of Senate Bill 1909 into law lends the appearance the State of Illinois would soon violate the essence of free speech in this state.
We firmly believe the government cannot impose a law violative of the First Amendment, designed to quash certain speech it doesn’t like, under the guise of the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Businesses Practices Act, simply because some people do not like the speech in question.
The Court, in McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission stated [ . . . ] the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.”
In Matal v Tam (2017), Justice Alito said “that the Lanham Act constituted impermissible discrimination based on viewpoint. The law’s prohibition of offensive ideas “strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express ‘the thought that we hate.’”
The following explains the preliminary injunction granted against the State of Illinois, and was originally posted on the Thomas More Society’s webpage: HERE.
Discriminatory Act Targeting Life-Affirming Maternal Health Ministries Immediately Halted
(August 3, 2023 – Rockford, Illinois) At an August 3 hearing in United States District Court, a federal judge granted a motion requested by Thomas More Society attorneys for a preliminary injunction seeking to immediately halt Illinois’ new law attacking life-affirming maternal health care centers. The lawsuit, National Institute of Family Life Advocates et al. v. Raoul, asserts that this law—enacted on July 27, 2023, and amending the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act—was designed to target pregnancy help ministries solely because of their pro-life message.
“Free Speech won today in the Land of Lincoln—pro-life advocates across Illinois can breathe a sigh of relief they won’t be pursued for ‘misinformation’ by Attorney General Kwame Raoul,” stated Peter Breen, Executive Vice President and Head of Litigation for the Thomas More Society. Breen argued the case on behalf of National Institute of Family Life Advocates and other pro-life ministries, including pregnancy care centers in Illinois.
“Across the nation, pregnancy help ministries are being discriminated against by laws that target their life-affirming work,” said Breen. “The injunction granted today sends a strong, clear message to the country that the First Amendment protects pro-life speech.”
Read the Verified Complaint for Temporary and Permanent Injunction and Other Relief filed on July 27, 2023, in the United States District Court – Northern District of Illinois Western Division, by Thomas More Society attorneys on behalf of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, Women’s Pregnancy Services, Rockford Family Initiative, Relevant Pregnancy Options Center, and Pro-Life Action League, in National Institute of Family Life Advocates et al. v. Raoul here.