Text of Proposed Legislation

This Act may be cited as the “National Endowment for Fact-Checking Act.”

The purpose of this Act is to protect American democracy from the electronic amplification of dangerous lies and misinformation related to elections and public health. Since it would pose unacceptable risks to free speech to empower any executive branch agency or official to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a particular claim is true or false, the Act delegates that responsibility to independent, non-governmental fact-checking organizations.

Constitutional Analysis of Proposed Legislation

The attached paper analyzes three potential claims that could be raised to challenge the constitutional validity of the proposed National Endowment for Fact-Checking Act. The first one involves claims by “electronic megaphone companies” (EMCs). The next two involve claims by “persons with large electronic megaphones” (PLEMs). For the reasons explained in the attached paper, I conclude that the potential claims by PLEMs would almost certainly fail. The outcome of a First Amendment claim by EMCs is more difficult to predict, but the proposed statute, if enacted, would likely survive constitutional scrutiny.

Individuals who Endorse the Proposed Legislation

The individuals identified below have endorsed the proposed legislation. In this context, "endorsement" does not mean that they agree with every clause in the draft legislation. It means they agree that legislation similar to the draft statute:

  • It would help protect American democracy from the threat posed by electronic amplification of lies and misinformation
  • And that courts should find that such legislation is constitutionally valid.

# Title Name Institutional affiliation
1 Professor Mark Otto xnahuk Santa Clara University
2 Doctor Jacob Thornton San Jose State University
3 Doctor Patric the Bird San Jose State University

Frequently Asked Questions

To Be Added

Resources on Disinformation

To Be Added