Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman drew attention on Friday, telling The Hill that “lies” about the legitimacy of the election were not protected under the Constitution.
“This idea that saying that Pennsylvania was rigged, or that we were trying to ‘steal the election — that’s a lie,” Fetterman told The Hill in a video interview from which a clip was tweeted on Friday morning. “And that — you do not have the right — that is not protected speech,” he continued.
“The second those tweets went up, they should have been deleted,” Fetterman said of President Trump’s Twitter account; a rallying point for his supporters and consistent sticking-point for his detractors. Trump frequently questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 Presidential election via his personal account and continues legal pursuit of investigations into what he and his team believe to be extensive voter fraud.
Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman: "This idea that saying that Pennsylvania was 'rigged' or that we were 'trying to steal the election' — that's a lie. And you do not have the right, that is not protected speech." pic.twitter.com/2f2ERSSLXy
— The Hill (@thehill) January 15, 2021
“That’s not de-platforming someone, it’s deleting lies that are yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater when there is none,” Fetterman continued. “There is a difference. That is not protected speech,” he claimed. “[Trump] can talk all day about what his favorite football team is, or that he’s the greatest President in the history of the world. But no one; Republican, Democrat, whatever, has the right to say those kind of incendiary lies.”
Fetterman’s views on the First Amendment may carry further than his home state. Last week, he announced his consideration of a race for the Senate seat to be vacated in 2022. “Pennsylvania will be the most important Senate race in 2022,” his campaign site reads. “We think we can win if we go for it,”