The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution today condemning attacks on the free press and affirming Congress’ support of the First Amendment, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, one of three senators who introduced it.
The Senate resolution “affirms that the press is not the enemy of the people.”
Schatz, along with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), introduced the resolution. Today, more than 300 newspapers across the U.S. ran editorials on the importance of press freedom in response to attacks by President Donald Trump and White House officials.
“We swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution, including the First Amendment,” said Schatz in a news release. “Today, every senator upheld that oath by sending a message that we support the First Amendment, and we support the freedom of the press in the face of these attacks. As Thomas Jefferson put it, ‘our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.’ ”
Besides Jefferson, the resolution quotes Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Ronald Reagan and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“Throughout history, the free press has always kept our government in check when it has gone astray, perhaps more than anywhere else around the world, and the Congress has a duty protect the press’s first amendment right,” said Schumer. “We rely on reporters and newscasters to keep our leaders honest, accountable, and always working in the best interest of the American people. I truly believe that America always solves its problems and combating dangerous and irresponsible attacks on journalism is no exception.”