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Gavin M. Wax

NCLU Joins Letter in Support of Live Nation Ticketmaster Antitrust Suit

Today, the National Constitutional Law Union joined the Bull Moose Project in sending a coalition letter supporting the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against LiveNation Ticketmaster. The letter was addressed to Attorney General Garland, Deputy Attorney General Monaco, and Assistant Attorney General Kanter.

The letter reads, in part:

We write to you as a coalition of conservative organizations committed to enforcing the rule of law, including as it pertains to illegal monopolists. For generations, lawmakers and business leaders have recognized that antitrust law enforcement is crucial to maintaining America’s free market system. But in recent decades, monopolistic corporations have managed to subvert antitrust enforcement, harming small businesses and America’s national interest in the process. In April, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to file an antitrust suit against Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation,1 whose monopolistic behavior has drawn the ire of lawmakers of both parties.2 Since the Obama administration permitted Ticketmaster and Live Nation to merge in 2010, the company has restricted consumer choice, retaliated against venues and rivals, and generally degraded the experience of American concertgoers. With the suit being officially filed, we support the DOJ Antitrust Division taking this overdue step to rein in Ticketmaster’s monopoly and break with the failed approach of the prior Democratic administration…

Upon filing suit against Live Nation, the DOJ antitrust division took the opportunity to reject the failed approach of Obama-era antitrust enforcers, who stood by as monopolistic corporations harmed competitors and consumers alike. This suit is imperative to prevent further abuses by Ticketmaster and other monopolists.

Read the full letter here.

The NCLU Joins Letter in Support of Christian Colleges

This past week, National Constitutional Law Union Chairman John M. Pierce signed a letter led by the American Principles Project and 24 other organizations.

The letter reads:

It’s pretty clear what’s happening here. USED is actively engaging in a search-and-destroy mission to undermine schools that challenge left-wing orthodoxy and offer students the ability to learn real skills at an affordable price. And they’re succeeding – these are enormous fines that will absolutely impact the Christian students that attend these universities who want to be affiliated with a school that best fits their values.

Legislative oversight is necessary to stop the Biden Administration’s assault on not only parents, families, and Christian institutions, but constitutional democracy itself. On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we urge you to demand answers from the Department of Education for its rationale behind these unjustified attacks and to implement legislative controls to prevent future abuse.

You can read the full letter here.

NCLU Applauds House Hearing on Leftist Tilt at Tax-Funded NPR

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing this week to address the political tilt of taxpayer-subsidized National Public Radio.

The National Constitutional Law Union, along with other Free Speech Alliance member organizations, sent a letter to committee chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) applauding the hearing and insisting taxpayers “should not be compelled to pay for a politicized media outlet whose primary objective is to undermine American ideas and ideals.”

The letter argues PBS and NPR have made a mockery of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which mandates “objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature.”

Therefore, NPR must not be rewarded for its unlawful behavior and anti-American objectives.”

The letter is below:

Dear Chair McMorris Rodgers,

We applaud your decision to investigate National Public Radio (NPR). Its politicized leadership and programming have once again been brought into the spotlight, but its history of biased reporting is legendary. It long ago abandoned even the appearance of abiding by its statutory mandates in favor of pursuing a leftwing agenda. 

Taxpayers should not be compelled to pay for a politicized media outlet whose primary objective is to undermine American ideas and ideals, including our First Amendment free-speech rights as well as the economic system that creates the wealth that NPR feeds off of. 

It is critical that this hearing expose NPR’s unlawful conduct and how its leadership and reporters have used its resources to pursue political outcomes. 

For its entire existence, NPR and its sister organization, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), have made a mockery of the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which mandates “objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature.” NPR must not be rewarded for its unlawful behavior and anti-American objectives. Many argue that no media outlet should be subsidized with US tax dollars, but NPR has certainly lost the moral authority to demand our continued support. 

We encourage you to thoroughly investigate how NPR uses its talent and resources in contravention of the law. The Committee should determine the following: 

  1. With thousands of alternative media outlets now available to the public, has NPR outlived its usefulness?
  2. Are NPR’s hiring practices designed to prevent diversity of viewpoints in its programming?
  3. Has NPR used its power, reach and resources to interfere in elections, including the 2020 and 2024 presidential elections?
  4. Half of Americans are conservative or lean right in their political views; how does NPR attempt, if at all, to address the interests of this swath of Americans?

In 1967, Congress determined that funding NPR and PBS, both entities under the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), was necessary since there were only three broadcasters on television and only a small number of news-oriented radio stations across the country. Today, the internet has allowed countless alternative news sources to flourish. There are tens of thousands of online media sites and countless podcasts where the public access news daily. 

Black-and-white televisions have been replaced with 5G technology and most radio stations now have apps to compete with audio streaming services. Why should taxpayers continue to finance PBS and NPR now that there’s CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Spotify, Pandora, Sirius XM, iHeart Radio, Amazon Prime, Apple Music, and countless others? 

Thank you for holding this important hearing. We look forward to learning how the Committee intends to reform NPR and the role taxpayers play in funding its operations. 

Sincerely,

John M. Pierce

Chairman

National Constitutional Law Union

NCLU Files Amicus Brief on Question of Presidential Immunity

The issue before the Court goes to a foundational question of constitutional governance: whether a President of the United States, the most democratically accountable officer of the Executive Branch, has autonomy over his own branch of government. Throughout the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton conceptualized an “energetic” presidency. However, he noted that if a president is not given complete immunity, the executive branch will be rendered “impotent,” resulting in a dysfunctional and destructive government. Therefore, This case is of utmost importance to preserving our republican form of government, with three separate and equal branches of government.

You can read the National Constitutional Law Union’s amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States, filed on March 19, here.

NCLU Joins Coalition Calling on Senator Wyden to Resign as Senate Finance Chairman Over Big Tech Conflict of Interest

This past week, the National Constitutional Law Union joined a coalition of like-minded organizations, sending a letter to Senator Wyden (D-OR), the chairman of the Senate’s Finance Committee, calling on him to step down due to clear conflicts of interest.

Dear Chairman Wyden:

As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, you are charged with investigating and regulating Big Tech’s market abuses – and to protect American consumers from the risks posed by these companies on our economy and democracy.

We are alarmed by reports of your wife’s exceptionally large stock holdings, totaling $3 million, in four of the Big Five technology companies that you are tasked with overseeing — Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google. This clear conflict of interest is dangerous to the American people, and we demand that you immediately step down from the chairmanship of the Finance Committee.

Mrs. Wyden’s holdings in these companies is an astonishing amount: it’s almost 60 times the value of stock that the median American stock-owning household owns in all companies combined. It is apparently not held in a blind trust. And presumably, as Mrs. Wyden’s husband, you benefit from these holdings directly.

Corporate giants like the ones Mrs. Wyden is propping up through her investments made over $14 billion in revenue last year by censoring our speech, selling our private information, endangering our children, and using their enormous market weight to stifle the free market and kill neighborhood businesses. They squelch conservative voices in favor of woke Democrat idiocy, distort our politics, and push our once-great nation further into decline. They harbor sex traffickers and drug dealers who prey on innocents for evil ends. They push our children into depression and suicide, and destroy our families.

As Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, you help determine whether these companies can continue their dangerous and socially destructive behavior, or whether they will be reined in. And Mrs. Wyden’s investments – and therefore your own financial ties to these companies via your wife – bring your commitment to the task into question.

In fact, a journalist from Rolling Stone interviewed ethics experts about this apparent conflict of interest: “They all agree the situation raises ethical questions.” The experts represented Democrat-aligned groups like Public Citizen as well as Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush. “Why does she need to sit on up to $3 million worth of high tech stocks when he’s making these decisions?” he asks. “Why didn’t she just sell that and put it in broad-based mutual funds?” Why indeed.

Conflicts of interest like this would pose ethical problems for any policymaker. But yours is especially problematic, given that you personally wield enormous power over the economic fate of the very same companies these investments support. Your Committee has direct jurisdiction over issues such as trade agreements and the taxation of multinational corporations. And we note that even as your household invests in Big Tech companies, you personally are pressing the Biden administration to enshrine a “digital trade” framework into international trade policy that would help Big Tech preemptively shut down regulation.

Your conflict of interest not only calls your personal credibility into question, but also opens the door for aggressive Big Tech lobbyists to attack the credibility of the Committee itself, eroding its power to act against their abuses. The five biggest tech companies spent almost $70 million in 2023 lobbying lawmakers — including your Committee — in an attempt to forestall legislation and executive action.

These recent revelations demonstrate that you and Mrs. Wyden are personally reaping a portion of Big Tech’s windfall profits, even as you hold the power to support or scuttle regulation that would address their clear and present danger to the republic. We demand that you cure this conflict by stepping down from the Chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee.

Sincerely,

Jonn M. Pierce

Chairman

National Constitutional Law Union

NCLU Urges Senate Action on Communist Chinese Gov’t-Tied TikTok

The National Constitutional Law Union is urging the Senate to follow the House of Representatives’ lead and vote on a bill forcing TikTok to divest itself from its communist Chinese government ties, or risk being banned from the U.S.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY), the National Constitutional Law Union and other members of the Free Speech Alliance praised the House for passing The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act and encouraged the Senate to follow suit. “We are pleased that the House has taken action and passed H.R. 7521 to protect the national security interests of Americans,” the letter reads, adding, “We write to urge you to schedule a floor vote on the companion bill as soon as possible.”

The letter noted that the bill “would prohibit TikTok from operating in the United States unless the Chinese Communist Party is divested of control.” It also highlighted the significance of this ultimatum: “Not only does the bill prevent the Chinese from operating surreptitiously in America, it still gives Americans the opportunity to use TikTok in the future in a manner where our privacy is protected, and our sensitive data is shielded,” the letter said.

The House passed H.R. 7521 in a bipartisan landslide Wednesday, with 352 representatives voting in favor and 65 opposed. The bill will now go to the Senate, where it must pass before having a chance of becoming law. Biden pledged to sign the bill if both houses of Congress pass it, despite his avid use of TikTok for his re-election campaign. Despite banning over 4 million federal employees from using the app on federal devices, Biden has now posted 71 TikTok videos.

The NCLU Publishes a Strategy Memorandum Against Unconstitutional Disgorgements

For decades, hyper-aggressive prosecutors and regulators at both the federal and state levels have abused the equitable remedy of “disgorgement.” They bury targeted business owners and entrepreneurs with disproportionate penalties masquerading as “disgorgement” – recovery of allegedly ill-gotten profits. In reality, though, the money often goes directly into government coffers rather than for the benefit of supposed victims of the alleged scheme.

And, the real victims of this phenomenon are those targeted for disgorgement. The latest and most prominent victim is President Trump, relentlessly pursued by radical partisan New York Attorney General Letitia James. This National Constitutional Law Union memorandum analyzes a new and highly promising strategy for President Trump and others selectively pursued by unethical prosecutors for disgorgement – Excessive Fines Clause of the 8th Amendment.

The full memorandum by the National Constitutional Law Union’s Director of Litigation, Edward A. Paltzik, can be read here.

Amend the Constitution to Prevent Political Prosecutions

The politicization of the administrative state, especially among prosecutors and Department of Justice officials, has exposed our judicial system’s weaknesses. Now that we have seen how problematic it has become, we can address the dangers of political lawfare. This new power structure’s emergence necessitates adopting a counterbalancing constitutional amendment.

To that end, the National Constitutional Law Union has drafted a proposed constitutional amendment to do just that. You can read our full proposal here.

© 2024 National Constitutional Law Union.