A handful of Republican Congressmen on Monday sent a letter to CNN, slamming the network's president, Jeff Zucker, for refusing to air President Donald Trump's re-election campaign ads. According to the letter, the group believes CNN violated federal law and Supreme Court precedent by refusing to air Trump's ads.
The group argues CNN has the First Amendment right to decide what kind of content it produces, even if it means Americans decide to obtain their news elsewhere, but refusing to air the ad surpasses their right to free speech.
"As your news organization seems to have lost all sense of objectivity, spinning itself into oblivion to support left-leaning candidates and participating in distortion against conservative candidates, you have still operated within the boundaries of the First Amendment," the letter reads. "CNN has the right to spout your political commentators' opinion while millions of Americans change the channel to something else. The law of the land and the Supreme Court precedent protect your right to be loudly wrong."
"Your decision, however, to disallow advertising from the sitting President of the United States, a man duly elected to the post, despite your best efforts, is a step that falls beyond your First Amendment protections, and one that we believe is in violation of the law and the Constitution," the letter says.
Specifically, the members of Congress cite the 1975 Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo, which deals with political and campaign contributions. In the decision, the Supreme Court said debating and discussion public issues and candidates' qualifications are "integral to the operation of the government established by our Constitution."
According to the group, CNN is violating the Buckley decision because the network continues to run Democratic presidential candidates' ads, but not Trump's.
The letter was led by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and signed by Mark Meadows (R-NC), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Randy Weber (R-TX), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Greg Steube (R-FL) and Bradley Bryne (R-AL).
NEW: @RepJeffDuncan leads letter calling out CNN prez Zucker for refusal of Trump campaign ads "potentially in violation of federal law and Supreme Court precedent":— Nate Madden (@NateOnTheHill) October 21, 2019
"Being personally offended is truly a poor reason to deny a candidate for public office the right to be heard" pic.twitter.com/kQUGHgmoBN