For years now, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer has doggedly argued that the First Amendment only applies to Congress, meaning that no entity other than Congress could ever exceed its limitations or violate the rights it protects:
First, the amendment applies only to Congress. “Congress shall make no law…” No other entity is restrained by the First Amendment. Since the amendment applies only to Congress, it is legally, historically and constitutionally impossible for a state, a county commission, a city council, a school board, a school principal, a school teacher or a student to violate the First Amendment. This is for one simple reason: none of them is Congress. Violating the First Amendment is something only Congress can do.
Despite the fact that Fischer has time and again insisted that “the First Amendment applies only to Congress,” he is now inexplicably fuming that the firing of Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran is somehow a violation of the First Amendment:
Cochran has been stripped of every right that is cherished and protected under the First Amendment. His freedom of religion, gone. His freedom of speech, gone. His freedom of the press, gone. His freedom of association, gone. When I say that homosexuality is the enemy of freedom, the First Amendment, and virtually the entire Constitution, this is what I’m talking about.
Cochran is considering legal action, as well he should. Either the First Amendment means what it says, in which case Cochran has an unassailable legal argument, or the Constitution doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s about time we found out the answer to that question.
As we have noted before, Fischer insists that “violating the First Amendment is something only Congress can do,” and since local government is not Congress, he has no grounds to complain about any non-congressional entity supposedly violating the First Amendment.
According to Fischer’s own well-established theory, his entire complaint that the city of Atlanta violated Cochran’s First Amendment rights is utterly incoherent considering that the city of Atlanta is not Congress.