Spring 2002 Missouri Legislation

Jeff City Capitol

As published in Front Line©, Vol. XLIII, No. 1, Spring 2022, 15820 Clayton Road, PO Box 37054, St. Louis, MO  63141, Fax (314) 434-7028

For just a few minutes, let’s pretend that we are in fourth grade. We’ve learned about the regions and the people of the United States, researched population density, studied agriculture of the Midwest, looked at water usage, geography and history of Missouri and worked to understand the economy of our state. And now, after we have scrutinized our state’s government, we are planning a train trip to the Capitol to see the lawmakers in action! What a trip across the state that will be!

Let’s see how much we remember from our studies in Mrs. Roberts’ fourth grade Social Studies class while we’re at the Capitol:

What is the Missouri General Assembly?

Missouri’s General Assembly serves as the legislative branch of the Show-Me State’s government and is the primary lawmaking body of the state.

Much like the U.S. Congress, its federal counterpart, the General Assembly is bicameral — made up of two separate chambers, the House and Senate.

It’s made up of 197 total lawmakers, 163 in the House and 34 in the Senate, all representing specific regions of the state. House members serve two-year terms, and a Senate term is four years. Both chambers have term limits: a lawmaker can serve a maximum of four terms in the House and two in the Senate, or eight years per chamber. All House members and half of the Senate are up for election every two years.

What and when is the legislative session?

The vast majority of legislation and action within the General Assembly happens within a five-month period at the beginning of each year, known as the “regular session.” During this time, lawmakers from all around the state meet in the state capitol in Jefferson House of RepCity — attending committee meetings, debating on the floor of both chambers, and negotiating policy behind the scenes.

Missouri’s constitution requires the General Assembly to convene on the first Wednesday in January (January 5, 2022), and ends on May 30, 2022.

Once the regular session adjourns, bills can no longer be considered. At this point, the governor (currently Mike Parson-R), decides whether to sign the passed bills into law or veto them. If a veto is issued on any legislation passed during regular session, the legislature is called back in September for the opportunity to overturn vetoes (a “veto session”). 

In 2021, the General Assembly returned for a veto session but did not end up overriding any of Parson’s vetoes.

The General Assembly can also return to Jefferson City in what is known as a “special” or “extra” session, called by the governor or petitioned by 75 percent of each chamber. Last year, a special session was called in order to extend a tax critical to funding Missouri’s Medicaid program, which stalled during the regular session due to disagreement among Republicans.

How is power divided in the legislature?

The Republican Party holds strong majorities in both the House and Senate, with 24 of 34 Senate seats and 112 of 163 House seats. Democratic power is concentrated almost exclusively in the St. Louis and Kansas City metro regions, as well as two House members from each of Columbia and Springfield; the GOP dominates exurban and rural regions of the state.

Those wide margins mean that the Republican priorities of both legislative leaders and the governor often dominate debate and legislation. Democrats often have to partner with lawmakers across the aisle to get any of their policies across the finish line, and spend significant time fighting and attempting to dilute conservative bills. 

That large Republican presence has also resulted in disagreements between members of the party in recent years. The party’s House caucus frequently diverges on the details and implementation of key policies and bills.Mr. Smith Screen Shot 2022-02-21 at 12.37.41 PM

The line in the Senate is drawn more clearly, with a dedicated Conservative Caucus — a group of several senators within the party that frequently takes more hardline right-wing stances on issues. Last year, they feuded with Republican leadership during disagreements about when and how to withhold public funds from Planned Parenthood, banning vaccine mandates and even the rules and decorum of the Senate itself.

Who are my state representatives and senators?

Not sure who represents you in the Missouri House and Senate? Don’t fret — the state has just the tool for that.

Both the House and Senate websites have legislator lookups that allow you to enter your address and find out who represents you (one representative and one senator). They also have full lists of members to peruse, including their party, committees and currently proposed legislation. The websites are house.mo.gov and senate.mo.gov.


Keep in mind that this year is special, in that within the next few months, new lines will be drawn in accordance with updated census data released this year — a process known as redistricting. House and Senate districts will be adjusted depending on how the populations of regions have grown or shrunk. (Each House district represents approximately 37,000 people, while each Senate district represents approximately 176,000.)

Redistricting will enter play come November, when the entire House and half of the Senate seek re-election. Good news, though — once the new lines are inked, they’re there for a decade until the next batch of census data is collected.

How does the legislature make laws? 

The actual lawmaking process is composed of a number of steps, involving coordination between both chambers, committees and the governor.

Any member of either chamber can propose bills for the legislative session starting on December 1 (known as “pre-filing”) and can continue to submit them until the 60th day of the session. Members can only sponsor a bill in the chamber to which they belong, but can partner with another lawmaker to have a similar version proposed in the other chamber. (See the term “carrying a bill” below.) Every bill is assigned a number.

A bill is “read” twice in a chamber before it is assigned to a committee by chamber leaders — either the Speaker of the House or the President Pro Tempore. That bill will then receive a hearing in front of the committee, in which members of the public can come testify for or against the bill. The committee as a body can amend or alter the bill before taking a vote, either recommending that it “do pass” or “do not pass.” A committee can send a bill back to the full chamber without a recommendation, though it’s rare.

The full chamber then works to “perfect” a bill. Amendments to the bill from members can be proposed and voted on before the vote to perfect the bill, which requires a majority of members present voting to approve it. It then goes on to a third reading, at which point only minor technical amendments can be proposed. The perfection and third read stages are when the vast majority of floor debate over bills takes place.

If a bill receives a constitutional majority of votes in the chamber, it’s then sent to the other chamber, where it goes through the same process again. If significant changes are made to the bill in the other chamber, it has to go back to the original chamber for those changes to be approved. Finally, the bill will be sent to a conference committee, which is made up of five members of each chamber and designed to resolve any differences between the two chambers on the bill. If both houses approve the report from the conference committee, the bill is sent to the governor’s desk.

The complexity of the process can vary depending on the bill. For example, the controversial Second Amendment Preservation Act passed last year had over 50 actions taken on it as it made its way through the General Assembly.

Why should I care about any of this?

There are few things more important than being an informed and active citizen — Missouri’s state legislature (like those in every other state) makes decisions every single day that impact your life.

Lawmakers have the ability to pass new taxes or tax breaks that could see you spending a few more cents at the gas pump or cut your small business a break. They could decide to allocate more or less money to an institution, program or agency that you and your family benefit from or utilize. They could change how millions of residents go about accessing health care services, or how families can decide which school to send their kids.

The list goes on. While it’s always important to stay in tune with local and national government, state government is vital, too! Stay tuned however you can.

Where can I learn more about the legislature?

The News-Leader will have regular reporting from Jefferson City in the coming months, including exclusive stories focused on policy and policymakers for Springfield. Make sure to subscribe if you want to access all of our reporting.

Missouri’s official state website, mo.gov, has a vast array of links, documents and details about countless agencies, programs and more.

If you’re interested in a raw, unfiltered feed from the sphere of Missouri politics and government, consider tracking the Twitter hashtag #moleg (short for Missouri legislature), where elected officials, lobbyists, press, and others share their thoughts and happenings of the day.

Handy jargon, terms and definitions to know

Appropriations: State and federal dollars allocated to a certain agency, issue or entity. Several committees are dedicated to making recommendations on appropriations for certain issues and areas of state government. Appropriations bills assign funding.

Caucus: A subgroup of members in the General Assembly that often represent mutual interests or identities. The biggest and most important are the party caucuses, Republicans and Democrats; other caucuses include the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, the Conservative Caucus in the Senate, and the Missouri Democrats Latino Caucus. Caucuses will often meet privately to iron out details of policy preferences and action.

Carrying a bill: When a member from one chamber is tasked with sponsoring a bill that has made progress or is a priority for a legislator in the other chamber. The bill carrier may be either chosen by the bill’s sponsor or the chair of a committee. The member carrying a bill in the other chamber is also called a handler.

Emergency clause: Can be attached to a bill to force it to go into effect when it becomes law sooner than the standard 90 days. Requires approval of two-thirds of each chamber to be attached.

Filibuster: Continuing debate in a chamber to stall action. Frequently occurs in the Senate, where the filibuster can last indefinitely; party colleagues, especially in the minority, often join forces in order to extend it as long as possible. Each member in the House is limited to 15 minutes of debate on a given bill or amendment.

Floor leaders: Elected by each party. Floor leader of the majority party controls how the chamber takes up legislation and actions, while the minority leader serves as the primary spokesperson for their party. Majority leaders are currently Republicans Sen. Caleb Rowden and Rep. Dean Plocher, of Columbia and St. Louis. Minority leaders are currently Democrats Sen. John Rizzo and Rep. Crystal Quade, of Independence and Springfield.

PQ (previous question): A procedural tactic that serves to shut down debate on a bill. It is frequently used in the House but rarely employed in the Senate, where it is seen as an absolute last resort tactic.

President pro tem: Presides over the Senate when the lieutenant governor is absent. Elected by members of the Senate and responsible for assigning legislation to committees. Currently Sen. Dave Schatz, a Republican from Sullivan is president pro tem.

Roll call vote: A vote in which every single member is asked to formally record their decision (rather than a voice vote). Both chambers must take roll call votes on final passage of bills and other actions, but any group of five members can request a roll call vote on any singular action (primarily driven by political motive to get lawmakers’ votes on the record).

Sine die: A legal term meaning adjourned with no appointed date of return. Marks the end of each legislative session.

Speaker of the House: Presides over the House of Representatives, traditionally the head of the majority party. Elected by the House body. Currently Rep. Rob Vescovo, a Republican from Arnold is speaker of the House.

Sponsor/co-sponsor: The member(s) who introduces a bill for the General Assembly’s consideration.

Original article published in the Springfield News-Leader, January 2, 2022. Galen Bacharier covers Missouri politics & government for the News-Leader. Contact him at gbacharier@news-leader.com, (573) 219-7440 or on Twitter@galenbacharier.

An elementary resource titled, “Do You Know MO,” may be found at www.house.mo.gov. And don’t forget the classic “I’m Just a Bill, Schoolhouse Rock,” which has information about United States Houses of government. Every state should also have similar resources online.



HB 1593 Creates the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act”: Rep. Sara Walsh (R-050) Provides that a child born alive during or after an abortion or an attempted abortion shall have all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state, including any other liveborn child. Any health care provider licensed, registered, or certified in this state who is present at the time a child is born alive during or after an abortion or attempted abortion shall: Exercise the same degree of professional Baby iStock-185063038 skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and ensure that the child born alive is immediately transported and admitted to a hospital following the exercise of skill, care, and diligence … In addition to any criminal or administrative liability which may be incurred, a person shall be civilly liable when he or she: knowingly, recklessly, or negligently causes the death of a child who is born alive during or after an abortion or an attempted abortion. …

Last Action: Hearing scheduled February 22, 2022.


HB 1474/HB 1474-1 Establishes requirements for public schools regarding parents and curricula and HB 1995 Provides for protections for parental rights and transparency in public schools: Rep. Nick Schroer (R-107) and Doug Richey (R-038). Known and may be cited as the “Parents’ Bill of Rights Act of 2022.” “… empower parents to enforce the following rights against school districts and public schools in which their children are enrolled … the right to know what their minor child is being taught in school including, but not limited to, curricula, books, and other instructional materials; the right to receive information about who is teaching their minor child including, but not limited to, guest lecturers and outside presenters; the right to receive information about individuals and organizations receiving school contracts and funding; the right to visit the school and check in on their minor child during school hours; the right to view or receive all school records, medical or otherwise, concerning their minor child; the right to receive information about the collection and transmission of their minor child’s data; the right to have sufficient accountability and transparency regarding school boards; and the right to know about situations affecting their minor child’s safety in school.” Other items in bill include: “No school district or public school shall require nondisclosure agreements or similar forms for a parent’s review of curricula. Each public school or school district shall allow parents to make copies of curriculum documents. No school district or public school shall allow student involvement in school assemblies, field trips, or other extracurricular activities unless the child’s parents provide written authorization for such student involvement. No school district or public school shall collect any biometric data or other sensitive personal information about a minor child without obtaining written parental consent before collecting such data or information. Each school board meeting pertaining to curricula, safety, or other student issues shall be held in public and allow for public comments. Each school district and public school shall notify parents in a timely manner of all reported incidents pertaining to student safety including, but not limited to, any felony or misdemeanor committed by teachers or other school employees.”

Critical Race

“As used in this section, ‘curriculum implementing critical race theory’ includes, but is not limited to, any curriculum that: Identifies people or groups of people, entities, or institutions in the United States as inherently, immutably, or systemically sexist, racist, biased, privileged, or oppressed; and employs immutable, inherited, or objective characteristics such as race, income, appearance, family of origin, or sexual orientation to: define a person’s identity; classify persons into groups for any purpose including, but not limited to, the targeting of only certain groups for education, formation, indoctrination, viewpoint, or transformation; perpetuate stereotypes; or assign blame to categories of persons regardless of the actions of particular individuals. For purposes of this section, a curriculum implementing critical race theory includes, but is not limited to, the following: The 1619 Project initiative of the New York Times; (See article in this issue of Front Line.) The Learning for Justice Curriculum of the Southern Poverty Law Center; Teaching Tolerance, or any successor curriculum; We Stories; Programs of Educational Equity Consultants; or any other similar predecessor or successor curriculum. No school district, charter school, or personnel or agent of such school district or charter school shall: teach, use, or provide for use by any pupil any curriculum implementing critical race theory as part of any curriculum, course materials, or instruction in any course given in such school district or charter school; or teach, affirm, or promote as an accurate account or representation of the founding and history of the United States of America any of the claims, views, or opinions presented in The 1619 Project as part of any curriculum, course materials, or instruction in any course given in such school district or charter school.”

Last Action: HCS Reported Do Pass (H) – AYES: 12, NOES: 8, PRESENT: 0, February 16, 2022. Replaced with a substitute bill HB 1995 referred: Rules – Legislative Oversight.

SB 810 Establishes “The Parents’ Bill of Rights for Student Well-Being” and modifies other provisions of elementary and secondary education. Sen. Andrew Koenig (R-15). Each school district shall, in consultation with parents, teachers, and administrators, develop and adopt a policy to promote parental involvement in the school system, including a plan for parental participation, information related to the child’s course of study, procedures allowing a parent to object to the use of certain classroom materials, procedures for a parent to withdraw a child from certain sexual education coursework, procedures for providing information related to extracurricular activities, and procedures for providing access to other educational information to which parents have a right as provided in the act.

Last Action: Second Read and Referred S Education Committee 1/20/2022.

SB 645 Modifies and creates provisions regarding the use of certain training, instructional, and curricular materials in public schools and charter schools. Sen. Andrew Koenig (R-15). The state board of education and the department of elementary and secondary education shall not be authorized to mandate and are expressly prohibited from mandating or promoting the curriculum, textbooks, or other instructional materials to be used in public schools. Each local school board shall be required to approve and adopt the curriculum used by the school district at least six months prior to implementation.

Last Action: Second Read and Referred S Education Committee 1/10/22.

SB 647 Establishes a grievance process for parents and guardians of elementary and secondary school students. Sen. Andrew Koenig (R-15). Under this act, a parent or guardian may file with the school board a formal objection to any school policy, practice, or procedure which applies to the parent, guardian, or his or her child, including instructional materials or methods not required by state law.

Last Action: Hearing Conducted S Education Committee 2-22-2022.


HB 1833 Modifies provisions for concealed carry permits: Rep. Chuck Basye (R-047). This bill removes the ban on eligibility for a concealed carry permit or a Missouri lifetime or extended concealed carry permit if the applicant has pled guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere of such crimes. In a nutshell, the need for this bill has largely arisen out of the tendency to make all sorts of things felonies, even when some wrongdoing was either victimless or was not violent in any way, and then the law-enforcement tactic of pressuring a suspect into entering a plea deal.

Last Action: Hearing scheduled February 22, 2022, Special Committee on Government Oversight.


HB 2009 Modifies provisions relating to immuni-zations: Rep. Suzie Pollack (R-123). This bill reigns in the power of the Department of Health and Senior Services. The predominaant argument against the bill was based on a need to protect society from disease at the expense of the rights of individuals. Bill language: “The department of health and senior services, after consultation with the department of elementary and secondary education, shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the immunization against poliomyelitis, rubella, rubeola, mumps, tetanus, pertussis, diphtheria, and hepatitis B, to be required of children attending public schools. … Such rules and regulations shall not require immunizations against diseases that are not listed in this subsection. … This section shall not apply to any child if one parent or guardian objects in writing to his or her school administrator against the immunization of the child, because of religious or conscientious beliefs or medical contraindications. …”

Last Action: Bill currently not on a House calendar. Voted Do Pass on 2-16-2022.


HB 2615 Prohibits mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates in public schools. Rep. Jeff Coleman (R-032) This bill prohibits school districts from requiring, as a condition to participate in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, immunization against COVID‑19. Schools are prohibited from requiring students to wear face masks, uChild Playing Tennis iStock-1220099347ndergo COVID‑19 diagnostic testing, or encouraging or attempting to persuade students to be immunized without parental consent. This bill is similar to SB 646 (2022).

Last Action: Referred to Judiciary Committee, 2-10-2022.

HRM-1 Remonstrance against the governor for allowing the state of emergency related to COVID-19 to expire. Rep. LaKeySha Bosley (D-079)

Bill currently not on a House calendar.

SB 740 Modifies and creates provisions regarding elementary and secondary education. Sen. Bill Eigel (R-23) This act establishes the “Public Education Transparency Act.” Under the act, “all professional development materials sponsored by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall be posted on the Department’s website prior to use. The Department shall not contract with any vendor for proprietary materials that cannot be viewed by the public. No public or charter school shall implement or enforce any student dress requirements that include a mask or face covering mandate. No student shall be required, as a condition of school attendance or participation in school-sponsored extracurricular activities, to wear a mask or face covering. (Section 167.029).

“No student shall be required, as a condition of school attendance or participation in school-sponsored activities, to be immunized against COVID-19. No student shall be required to alternatively undergo COVID-19 diagnostic testing, provided that nothing in this provision shall preclude a school from requiring a student who has been in close contact with a source of COVID-19 to be tested as a condition of attending school or extracurricular activities. (Section 167.181). Under this act, middle school and high school sports teams which compete against public middle schools and high schools shall be expressly designated as male, female, or coeducational using terms provided in the act. No athletic team or sport designated for females, women, or girls shall be open to students of the male sex, as assigned at birth.”

Last Action: Sent to Senate Education Committee 1-3-2022.


Map.4875H.02P XHB 2117 Creates provisions for redistricting federal congressional seats according to the 2020 census. Rep. Dan Shaul (R-113) The states redraw district lines every 10 years following completion of the United States census. The federal government requires that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity. This has caused quite a stir in the Missouri legislature.

According to Galen Bacharier1 of the Springfield News-Leader,  “The Missouri Senate ran for miles this week but didn’t move an inch. When the higher chamber gaveled in for a rare Friday session, members began discussion about the same bill they started the week on — a map establishing new congressional districts — with no noticeable progress.

“Highlighted by a 31-hour filibuster … action in the chamber has effectively come to a standstill. Hardline conservative Republicans have led debate over a proposal that they say is far from satisfactory for the GOP … Amendments have been proposed and then withdrawn … For most of the week, members of the Senate Conservative Caucus held the floor, touting the importance of a ‘7-1’ map favoring Republicans rather than the proposed ‘6-2’ map that would retain Missouri’s current partisan alignment in Congress; at times, Democrats took the floor to discuss the current situation among themselves. …

“One way out of the map miasma could be through a procedural move — called moving the previous question — that allows chamber leadership to effectively cut off debate and go to a vote. It’s used very rarely in the Senate, which traditionally prides itself on thoughtful back-and-forth and compromise.

“But when Sen. Bob Onder, a Lake St. Louis Republican and member of the Conservative Caucus, asked Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden of Columbia on Wednesday whether he would invoke the procedure on a member of his own party, Rowden responded, ‘I don’t think anything’s off the table.’ …”

Last Action: Placed on informal calendar, SA 1 pending, 2-1‑2022.


SB 736 Authorizes a property tax credit as a result of certain restrictive orders. Sen. Andrew Koenig (R-15). Beginning January 1, 2022, this act allows a taxpayer that owns real property located in a city or county that imposes one or more restrictive orders [health orders] for a combined total in excess of fifteen days in a calendar year to receive a credit against property taxes owed on such affected property. A restrictive order shall be any city-wide or county-wide ordinance or order imposed pursuant to state law relating to health orders.

Last Action: SCS Voted Do Pass S Ways and Means Committee 2-10-2022.

Contact your Senator or Representative for further information, and check the Missouri Secretary of States’ website to confirm your voting district (https://s1.sos.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup/)


1 Galen Bacharier covers Missouri politics & government for the News-Leader. Contact him at gbacharier@news-leader.com, on Twitter @galenbacharier or at (573) 219-7440.

The 1619 Project

A Political Program Marketed as History

Washington Delaware and 1619

As published in Front Line, Vol. XLIII, No. 1, Spring 2022,

PO Box 37054, St. Louis, MO. 63141, (314) 434-7028.

by Dr. Mary Byrne

The New York Times Magazine released its repackaged and rebranded 1619 Project Magazine issue as a book, The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story.1 The Times also posted on the book’s promo website a teacher’s guide and companion children’s book with its own K-12 curriculum guide. Well-respected historians criticized the 1619 Project’s inaccuracies and false statements particularly taking exception to Nikole Hannah-Jones’s lead essay. 2,3,4,5,6 The updated and upgraded book retains and morphs the project beyond a reframing of America’s founding to something else entirely.

Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada entitled his review of the book, “The 1619 Project started as history. Now it’s also a political program.” 7 As Lozada’s title infers, the book includes original content with some modifications, but its most striking changes include the addition of policy advocacy for socialist priorities (such as a livable wage, universal healthcare, childcare, college, and student loan debt relief as well as cash reparations for Black Americans) and a call to political activism. The New York Times launched an aggressive campaign to promote the book and supplemental materials to America’s K-12 classroom. 

Why It Matters

While The New York Times proudly publicizes the 1619 Project as award-winning, and touts that its impact on America was nothing short of reframing our understanding of American history, it promotes a false narrative about America and misrepresents the integrity of the project and its newest iteration to the public. Peter Wood, President of the National Association of Scholars, analyzed the credentials of the original 1619 Project contributors. 8 He noted that, 

Of the fourteen main contributors and the suppliers of sidebars, seven are professional journalists, six of whom work for The New York Times. Six are academics, five of whom are historians. … (p. 13)

This gathering of contributors might not be the ideal panel to reconceive the history of America from the ground up. … The participants weren’t invited for the purpose of summoning intellectually diverse views, but because they were known and could be trusted to stay within the agreed-upon framework. They are advocates for a thesis, and it is a thesis that puts racial grievance at the center of America’s story. (p. 14)

The New York Times Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Jake Silverstein, bragged, “Thousands of educators in all 50 states have made use of the Pulitzer Center’s educational materials based on the 1619 Project to supplement — not replace — their standard social studies and history curriculums [italics added].” 9 In other words, the Times is marketing a race-based commentary as history. 

Picture 2 While the book version of the project addresses some of its critics’ concerns giving it a veneer of academic respectability, it also adds an activist component consistent with the “action civics” promoted by neo-Marxist Critical Race Theory proponents in education. 10

1619 Project’s False History Repeats Itself

According to Silverstein, Hannah-Jones’s Pulitzer Prize-winning essay (which was categorized as “commentary,” not history) “provides the intellectual framework for the project and can be read as an introduction.”11 Hannah-Jones repeats the text of her original magazine essay in the opening chapter of the book despite historians’ criticisms that she made false statements as shown in the excerpts following: 

Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons some of the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery. …, we may never have revolted against Britain if some of the founders had not understood that slavery empowered them to do so; nor if they had not believed that independence was required in order to ensure that slavery would continue. …

Jefferson and the other founders were keenly aware of this hypocrisy. And so in Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence, he tried to argue that it wasn’t the colonists’ fault. Instead, he blamed the king of England for forcing the institution of slavery on the unwilling colonists and called the trafficking in human beings a crime. Yet neither Jefferson nor most of the founders intended to abolish slavery, and in the end, they struck the passage [Italics added]. 12

Historians lashed out at Hannah-Jones’s deliberate racialist falsification of American history. 13   Had she wanted to write responsible commentary about the motives of Jefferson, she would have read his autobiography that explained why the Continental Congress deleted the paragraph to which she refers.14 But employing “the highest journalistic principles” was the goal. 15  Leslie Harris, a historian who specializes in the study of slavery in America, challenged the false statement weeks before the essay was published but was ignored. 16 Historians David North and Thomas Mackaman confirmed that other historians experienced the same rejection. 17

Silverstein was dismissive of critics’ emphasis on facts as “privilege.” He defended the project saying,  “… a knowledge of American historiography, in particular the way our historical profession evolved to take fuller account of the role of slavery and racism in our past, is critical to understanding the debates of the past two years [italics added].” 18 In so many words, Silverstein dismissed journalistic standards of objectivity and documentation, and promoted subjective story-telling as a superior approach to prosecute slavery and racism in America. The purpose of the 1619 Project must have been about something other than a national conversation starter about the history of racism in America.

Problems with the Project’s Prestigious Pulitzer Prize

1619 XScreen Shot 2022-02-19 at 5.52.01 PMThe 1619 Project met entry criteria for a Pulitzer Prize, because in 2016, the Board announced expansion of eligibility to print online magazines in all journalism categories.19 According to the October 2016 press release, the Board “also approved a revised set of guidelines … [that] spell out … what the board means by “the highest journalistic principles.”

The Board’s guidelines stated, “The judges seek to experience your work as your readers did” and described the “Commentary” category as, “… for opinion writing containing well-reasoned and compelling arguments on a topic or topics of public interest.” They also stated, “The rigor and completeness of sourcing is an important factor in judging the quality of submissions, whether it involves attribution in the text, footnotes or the citation of documents. These standards apply to all entrants regardless of the medium or form of the entries. [Italics added.]20

On October 6, 2020, the National Association of Scholars sent a letter to the Pulitzer Board requesting that the Board rescind Hannah-Jones’s prize, because The 1619 Project did not meet the Board’s guidelines. After its original publication, the Times changed key wording in its introduction to soften the errors in Hannah-Jones’s essay.21 Attorney Patricia Barnes argued, “The [errorful] essay that was published by the NYT in August 2019 was the essay that was placed before the Pulitzer organization for consideration, not the revised (corrected) essay.”22 Barnes concluded that the Times’s adjustments showed Hannah-Jones’s essay was neither well-reasoned nor compelling. Other critics point out the essay presents no source material.23 The Pulitzer Board responded in an October 12, 2020, statement, “That essay was selected … by a jury judging entries in the ‘Commentary’ category.”24 The Board’s Plan of Award describes the judging process: the Board appoints Nominating Jurors in each prize category who then submit three nominations to the Board.25

Jurors for “Commentary” in 2020 included Brent Staples, an African-American who is a member of the New York Times editorial board; Lydia Polgreen, an African-American who is a former editorial director of New York Times Global and was a New York Times reporter in West Africa, India and South Africa; and Peter Maass, former writer for The New York Times Magazine. The 2019-2020 Pulitzer Board included Pulitzer administrator Dana Canedy, a former New York Times editor and special projects reporter.26 Also on the Board was the Times Opinion Editor Gail Collins.27

Before announcing the Pulitzer Prizes (May 4, 2020, Canedy commented, “Despite relentless assaults on objective truth, … journalists continue to pursue and deliver essential facts and truths to keep us safe and to protect our democracy.” [Italics added.]28 Yet, five months earlier, Hannah-Jones tweeted, “The 1619 Project explicitly denies objectivity.”29 Clearly, the Board applied a different standard regarding sourcing and objectivity to Hannah-Jones’s essay. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz indicated that in violating the Pulitzer organization’s own journalistic principles, its New York Times associates demonstrated that they have an agenda. Cruz tweeted, “NYT Executive Editor Dean Baquet was caught in a leaked transcript admitting it blatantly political.”30 Critics of the project link that political agenda to the Democrat party.31

Critical Race Theory as the Frame for the 1619 Project

Storytelling as evidence is an aspect of neo-Marxist Critical Race Theory (CRT). In the spring 1998 issue of The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Edward Taylor explained, 

As a form of oppositional scholarship, CRT challenges the experience of whites as the normative standard and grounds its conceptual framework in the distinctive experiences of people of color. This call to context insists that the social and experiential context of racial oppression is crucial for understanding racial dynamics, … 32

CRT scholars often use storytelling as a way to engage and contest negative stereotyping. This strategy makes use of the experiences of people negatively affected by racism as a primary means to confront the beliefs held about them by whites. This is what Professor Crenshaw calls a condition for the development of a distinct political strategy informed by the actual conditions of black people. 33 [Italics added.]

The use of storytelling, however, does not exempt a journalist from a comprehensive review of available facts. New York Times’s Bret Stephens opined, “The question of journalistic practices, however, raises deeper doubts about the 1619 Project’s core premises … The job of journalism is to take account of that complexity [of people and their motives], not simplify it out of existence through the adoption of some ideological orthodoxy.”34

Hannah-Jones tweeted out a statement distancing her work from association with CRT. 

Picture 1

Analysis of the 1619 Project suggests she knows otherwise. Johns Hopkins School of Education’s Institute for Education Policy developed a social studies knowledge map that confirmed the Marxist lens of the Project’s content stating, 

In narrowing the motivations of the nation’s white population to a singular intent, the 1619 Project’s framework is reminiscent of the structuralist meta-narratives of Marxist or feminist structuralism, to wit: there is only one controlling force that underlies and thus ultimately explains the totality of individual and collective human behavior. The 1619 Project thus reflects both the inherent strengths and weaknesses of other structuralist accounts.35

The Origin of Hannah-Jones’s Origin Story

Nikole Hannah-Jones, who had been a staff writer of The New York Times since 2015, pitched the idea of the 1619 Project at a staff meeting in January 2019.36 Silverstein noted that Hannah-Jones had been cultivating the idea for the project for many years. The unveiling of the 100-page opus in August 2019, was timed to coincide with the four-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of the first slaves in the British colony of Virginia. The 1619 Project issue enjoyed instant acclaim and high volume of sales.

In the spring of 2020, the Pulitzer Board awarded Hannah-Jones a prize for her lead essay as “Commentary,” but that did not stop Silverstein from marketing the project as “history.” A Washington Examiner reporter quoted Hannah-Jones’ claim that the 1619 Project is not a history, but an “origin story” of America, stating:

I am not an historian [Italics added]. I am a journalist. The 1619 Project involves historical research, reporting, and argument to tell a story about the modern legacy of slavery. Historiography does something completely different.

I’ve said consistently that the 1619 Project is an origin story, not the origin story, … Our intro says explicitly, what would it mean to consider 1619 our founding — not that it is our founding. [Emphasis added.]

The reporter commented, “Perhaps she is backtracking now on ‘history’, because even interpretive history, like journalism, must rely on solid facts. Unfortunately for Hannah-Jones, her contributions to the 1619 Project have been criticized far and wide as being counterfactual.”37

In the preface of the book version, Hannah-Jones includes a kind of disclaimer that the Project is “not the only origin story of this country – there must be many.” Then, her opening chapter repeats the text of her original magazine essay. Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada observed, “Some 400-plus pages later, in a concluding chapter, she writes that the origin story in the 1619 Project is ‘truer’ than the one we’ve been told … For all of the controversy the project has elicited, this muddle over the starting point is an argument that the 1619 Project is also having with itself.”38 In other words, internal contradictions in the text do not make for an enduring origin story and exposes the Time’s goal as something else.

New York Times writer Bret Stephens revealed that, “About a month before the project’s publication, Silverstein reached out to the Pulitzer Center to propose a 1619 curriculum for schools.” 39 The timing of Silverstein’s outreach combined with reports that the Times knew of Hannah-Jones’s false narratives about America’s history suggests that dissemination of negative messaging about America’s founding to K-12 social studies classrooms was a politically-calculated goal. 

Common Core State Standards: A Backdoor to Promulgating the 1619 Project as History

In one article, Silverstein described at length Lynne Cheney’s failed attempt in the 1990s to develop and promulgate national history standards as the director of the National Endowment of the Humanities.40 National standards would create a national market for instructional resources and materials designed to meet those standards. Cheney’s goal may have surreptitiously been achieved with the 2010 Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that conflate standards for English Language Arts with History/Social Studies.41 

Common Core

For example, Reading Standards for Informational Text 6–12 includes a section entitled Integration of Knowledge and Ideas. Item 9 for grades 9-10 states, “Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance. … including how they address related themes and concepts.” Item 9 for grades 11-12 states, “Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.” 

The form and content of the 1619 Project perfectly aligns with the CCSS in that, it doesn’t have to meet standards of objectivity associated with the discipline of history while it can use historical documents as material for commentary meeting standards of English Language Arts. The 1619 Project and materials based on the Project’s narrow and race-biased content can be camouflaged as information literacy without having to meet historians’ standards of objective facts.

Awareness of the composition of the CCSS ELA/History standards is evident in Secretary of Education Cardona’s first Proposed Priorities-American History and Civics Education. 42 The administration proposed “priorities to support the development of culturally responsive teaching and learning and the promotion of information literacy skills.” The purpose of teaching, according to the proposed rule, was “the teaching of American history, civics, and government in elementary schools and secondary schools, including the teaching of traditional American history. But the proposal specifically identified the 1619 Project as meeting the purpose of the rule. Had the revised proposal not removed reference to the 1619 Project, federal dollars would have been dedicated to spreading the falsehood about America’s founding in K-12 classrooms.

New York Times’s Partnership with the Pulitzer Center and the CCSS

The Pulitzer Center announced its partnership with The New York Times Magazine to develop instructional materials for teaching K-12 students with the 1619 Project.43 The Center’s Education Materials Collection website provides free lesson plans to teachers that are generated to teach from the project content.44 Those lessons are structured to meet the CCSS ELA/History standards as illustrated in the Educator Notes for the lesson plan entitled “Exploring ‘The Idea of America” by Nikole Hannah-Jones.45 (See images below.)

Lesson Plan   Common Core 2

Clandestine Purposes of the 1619 Project

Stephens summarized the motive of the Times and Hannah Jones as follows:

If there’s one word admirers and critics alike can agree on when it comes to The New York Times’s award-winning 1619 Project, it’s ambition. Ambition to reframe America’s conversation about race. Ambition to reframe our understanding of history. Ambition to move from news pages to classrooms. Ambition to move from scholarly debate to national consciousness.46 

In other words, the Times and Hannah-Jones and their sympathizers in government and the private foundations are working to fuel the fundamental transformation of America by infusing the 1619 Project in K-12 classrooms. In addition, they enjoy national recognition from prestigious awards, profit from book sales and speaking engagements, and the power to steer the upcoming generation’s perception of the United States. Mary Grabar, author of “Debunking the 1619 Project,” gives readers a call to action:

“The 1619 Project [and by extension, its book sequel] is a mortal danger to the American experiment in self-government. If we want to keep the Republic … We must understand The 1619 Project: its divisive aims and its dishonest methods, its sweeping historical misjudgments and its blatant errors of fact. And we must drive its lies and its poisonous race-baiting out of our public institution, beginning with the official curricula of our schools.”

Americans who understand the precious gift of America’s founding ideas must act to preserve them and extend them to all Americans – especially those of the next generation – if we are to keep the Republic.

Akin Swash


Dr. Mary Byrne is a national speaker and co-founding member of Missouri Coalition Against Common Core. She has an M.A. in special education from The Ohio State University, and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instructional design, and a doctorate in special education from Teachers College at Columbia University. In 2015, Dr. Byrne served on Missouri’s academic standards work group for secondary social studies which was constituted by the 2014 Missouri legislation HB 1490. Dr. Byrne recently testified to the Missouri legislature’s Joint Committee on Education about CRT’s history and the state’s role in supporting aspects of CRT in Missouri schools.


1 Hannah-Jones, Nikole, “A New Origin Story, The 1619 Project,” 2021, https://1619books.com/.

2 The Pulitzer Prizes, “Nikole Hannah-Jones of The New York Times, Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.,” August 14, 2019, https://www.pulitzer.org/. 

3 Wilentz, Sean, “American Slavery and ‘the Relentless Unseen’. ’’ The New York Review, November 19, 2019, https://www.nybooks.com/ 

4 Wood, Peter W., “1620: A Critical Response to the 1619 Project,” Encounter Books, NY, 2020. 

5 LumenLearning, “African American History and Culture. The Impact of the Revolution on Slavery.,” https://courses.lumenlearning.com/.

6 Guelzo, Allen C., “The 1619 Project’s Outrageous, Lying Slander of Abe Lincoln,” March 5, 2020, https://www.heritage.org/.

7 Lozada, Carlos, “The 1619 Project started as history. Now it’s also a political program.” The Washington Post, November 19, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/.

8 Ibid., Wood, Peter.

9 Silverstein, Jake, “The 1619 Project and the Long Battle Over U.S. History, Fights over how we tell our national story go back more than a century – and have a great deal to teach us about our current divisions,” The New York Times, November 9, 2021, updated November 12, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com.

10 Delgado, Richard & Jean Stefancic, “Critical Race Theory, An Introduction,” New York University Press, New York and London, 2003. 

11 Ibid., Silverstein.

12 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes.

13 North, David & Tom Mackaman, “The New York Times’ 1619 Project and the racialist falsification of history,” Oak Park, MI: Mehring Books, 2021, https://www.wsws.org/.

14 Jefferson, Thomas, “Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson 1743-1790,” 1914. https://ia600303.us.archive.org.

15 Ibid., Pulitzer, “Pulitzer Prizes open all journalism categories to magazines,” October 18, 2016, https://www.pulitzer.org/.

16 Harris, Leslie, “I helped fact check the 1619 Project. The Times Ignored me,” Politico, March 6, 2020, https://www.politico.com/.

17 Ibid., North.

18 Ibid., Silverstein. 

19 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes, “Pulitzer Prizes Open All Journalism Categories to Magazines,” October 19, 2016, https://www.pulitzer.org/.

20 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes, “2020 Journalism Submission Guidelines Requirements and Faqs,” https://www.pulitzer.org/.

21 Wood, Peter, “Pulitzer Board Must Revoke Nikole Hannah-Jones’ Prize,” National Association of Scholars, October 6, 2020, https://www.nas.org/.

22 Barnes, Patricia, “Ideology Over Excellence: Awarding The Pulitzer Prize to The 1619 Project,” Forbes, September 27, 2020, https://www.forbes.com/.

23 Feld, Ian, “The divisive effect of the 1619 project’s evidence, Gateway Journalism Review, Gale Academic Online, Winter 2020, https://go.gale.com/.

24 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes, “A Statement from the Pulitzer Prize Board,” October 12, 2020.  

25 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes, “2022 Plan of Award.” 

26 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes, “Journalist, Author Dana Canedy is Elected Administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes,” July 12, 2017. 

27 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes, Pulitzer Prize Board 2019-2020. 

28 Ibid., The Pulitzer Prizes, “Announcement of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize Winners,” May 3, 2019.

29 Wells, Ida Bae, “Nikole Hannah-Jones explains why the 1619 Project should not be taught in schools,” Twitter, November 30, 2019, https://twitter.com/conceptualjames/status/1303466102434017280.

30 Cruz, Ted, Twitter, May 4, 2020, https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/1257407721441300481.

31 Kaufman, Elliot, “The ‘1619 Project’ Gets Schooled,” The Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/.

32 Taylor, Edward, “A Primer on Critical Race Theory,” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Spring 1998, No. 19, pp. 122-124, https://www.jstor.org/.

33 Ibid. 

34 Stephens, Bret, “The 1619 Chronicles,” The New York Times, October 9, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com.

35 The Johns Hopkins School of Education Institute for Education Policy, “Social Studies Knowledge Map, The 1619 Project,” Summer 2021, https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lb1T6F-d2lfzgCofgAHl6OTpGsUSjEQR/view.

36 Ibid., Silverstein. 

37 Adams, Becket, “1619 Project founder claims her project is simply an “origin story,’ not history,” Washington Examiner, July 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/.

38 Ibid., Lozada.

39 Ibid., Stephens. 

40 Ibid., Silverstein.

41 The Common Core State Standards Initiative, Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy, in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, 2010, http://www.corestandards.org/.

42 Federal Register, “Proposed Priorities-American History and Civics Education,” April 19, 2021, https://www.federalregister.gov/.

43 Pulitzer Center, “Pulitzer Center Named Education Partner for The New York Times Magazine’s ‘The 1619 Project’,” August 14, 2019, https://pulitzercenter.org/.

44 The New York Times, “Teaching the 1619 Project, Education Materials Collection,” https://1619education.org/.

45 Pulitzer Center Education, “Exploring “The Idea of America by Nikole Hannah-Jones,” The 1619 Project: Pulitzer Center-created Resources, May 29, 2020, https://1619education.org/builder/lesson/exploring-idea-america-nikole-hannah-jones

46 Ibid., Stephens, B.


As published in Front Line, Vol. XLII, No. 1, March 2021

Capitol iStock-1184959589H.R. 1 — For the People Act of 2021

Every single Democrat in the House of Representatives sponsored H.R. 1 For the People Act of 2021. This bill will completely shatter America’s confidence in our election process. It oversteps constitutional limits by seeking to curtail the states’ rights in an attempt to federalize election procedures and permanently alter the power balance to favor one political party.

H.R. 1 undermines the First Amendment. H.R. 1 undoes key Supreme Court cases that protect elections as fundamental to free speech. It would allow the Federal Election Commission to track and catalogue more of what Americans are saying, register even very small political donations, and make public those who donate to different charitable and nonprofit organizations. The legislation will subject private citizens to intimidation and harassment for their private and political beliefs, far broader than what was done in the IRS targeting scandal in 2013.

H.R. 1 yanks election authority away from the states. H.R. 1 reasserts the ability of the federal government to micromanage state elections through a process known as “preclearance.” Preclearance, which was previously overturned by the Supreme Court, requires states to get permission from the federal government for changes as small as modifying the hours of an election office or moving a voting location from a school gym to the library. Critically, none of these practices would undo any fraud or corruption. Rather, these same practices result in incorrect registrations and inaccurate voter data, while failing to address actual corrupt practices like ballot harvesting. Moreover, they are all designed to eliminate the federalism that keeps elections transparent, local, and fair.

H.R. 1 attacks individual voter integrity. America was founded on the principle of “one person, one vote.” H.R. 1 turns this on its head by weaponizing every aspect of the political regulatory system. The Federal Election Commission, which is currently a neutral body, would be given a 3-2 makeup, guaranteeing a partisan outcome with little accountability toward the actual votes which are cast. H.R. 1 also includes a 600 percent government match for political donations, and authorizes even more public dollars to campaigns. The bill also wants to make “Election Day” a new paid holiday for government workers, with additional paid vacation given to bureaucrats to oversee the polls. All of these changes are designed to distance the outcome of the election from those casting their votes.

H.R. 1 would implement the following changes:

• Forces states to implement mandatory voter registration, removing civic participation as a voluntary choice, and increasing chances for error.

• Mandates that states allow all felons to vote.

• Forces states to extend periods of early voting,.

• Mandates same-day voter registration, which encourages voter fraud.

• Limits the ability of states to cooperate to see who is registered in multiple states at the same time.

• Prohibits election observers from cooperating with election officials to file formal challenges to suspicious voter registrations.

• Criminalizes protected political speech by making it a crime to “discourage” someone from voting.

• Bars states from making their own laws about voting by mail.

• Prohibits chief election officials in each state from participating in federal election campaigns.

• Mandates free mailing of absentee ballots.

• Mandates that states adopt new redistricting commissions.

• 16 year olds will be allowed to vote while in school (guided by unionized teachers).

• No photo ID will be required.

• Criminalizes an individual if an elected official is told they will be” primaried” if they vote or do not vote for particular bills.

• Criminalization if you ask an individual voting if they are an American citizen.

• Ballot harvesting is allowed.

• States not allowed to clear individuals off their voting roles if they move out of state.

H.R. 1 would cause sweeping and irrevocable damage to the free speech, privacy, and voting integrity that are central components to free and fair elections in America.

The bill has been passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate. Contact your legislators, especially your U.S. Senators, TODAY to express your opinion on this massive piece of legislation.

Your freedom depends on it.


H.R. 5 — U.S. Equality Act of 2021

Gaslighting Sexual Orientation

H.R. 5 has quickly come through the U.S. House and was passed on February 18, 2021, by a vote of 224‑206 along party lines (with three Republicans joining Democrats to vote in favor of the legislation). It is now awaiting vote in the U.S. Senate, and they are expected to take up the bill very soon.

The proposed Equality Act of 2021 (H.R. 5) would make mainstream beliefs about marriage, biological facts about sex differences, and many sincerely held beliefs punishable under the law. The Equality Act makes discrimination the law of the land by forcing Americans to conform to government-mandated beliefs under the threat of life-ruining financial and criminal penalties. Presented as a bill with common sense and decent protections against discrimination, H.R. 5 is anything but. The Equality Act politicizes medicine and education and demolishes existing civil rights and constitutional freedoms.1

It would prohibit schools, hospitals, “public accommodations,” and in some cases churches from discriminating against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity; legally oblige those establishments to accommodate transgender persons in accordance with their preferred gender identity; remove a major “conscience protection” for religious workers, including healthcare workers, and thereby indirectly weaken the legal position of religious employers in hiring workers in accordance with their religious ethos; leave religious colleges open to being cut off from federal assistance if they violate Title VI non-discrimination rules, and could indirectly weaken their protection against having their accreditation removed.

Specifically, it would:

• Designate schools, churches, and healthcare organizations as “public accommodations.” With this, schools, churches, and hospitals could be forced to accept the government’s beliefs and mandates about sexual orientation and gender identity. That would be highly intrusive and incredibly far-reaching. It will threaten everyday speech where people can be fined or lose their jobs for using the wrong name or pronouns.

• Legislate that we allow boys in girls’ sports, boys in girls’ locker rooms, men in women’s shelters, and men in women’s prisons. It will force teachers and students to publicly pretend that a biological male is a female. Schools will be encouraged or mandated to instruct young children that they can choose to be a boy or a girl, or neither, or both—making biological sex (and science) a relic of the past.

• Use the force of law across all 50 states to strip Christian and other religious ministries of their right to hire people of shared faith to pursue a shared mission. Can you imagine a Christian organization being forced to hire people hostile to its deeply held beliefs who have no passion for its beliefs, teachings, and mission?

• Strip health professionals of their rights of conscience. It will force doctors and medical professionals who long to do no harm to engage in gender transition treatments such as hormone-blocking, cross-sex hormones or surgery. It is obvious that a Catholic or faith-based hospital should not have to perform gender transition surgeries that go entirely against all they believe.

• Be a tool used by the government to deny or threaten accreditation to religious colleges and universities if they do not satisfy the demands of the secular Left to apply sexual orientation and gender identity to dorms, sports, places of privacy and even teachings. The Act could be used as a weapon to threaten the availability of federal student loans and grants to students at certain disfavored religious schools.2

In their brochure, “The Equality Act: How Could Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Laws Affect You? the Heritage Foundation, offers the following:

Congress should honor the Constitutional freedoms of all Americans to think, work, and live according to their beliefs on marriage and biological sex. SOGI legislation wrongly conflates disagreement on these issues with discrimination. All people should be treated with dignity and respect and powerful market and cultural forces are deterring discrimination against anyone simply because they identify as gay or transgender. State SOGI laws have punished non-conformity to cultural orthodoxy. Federal laws should not exacerbate social conflict by doing the same. Anti-discrimination laws are supposed to be shields from invidious discrimination, not swords to punish non-conformity. Our laws should honor the freedom to hold different beliefs in order to protect true diversity and promote tolerance.3

The bill has been passed out of the U.S. House of Representatives and is awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate. Contact your legislators, especially your U.S. Senators, TODAY to express your opinion on this piece of legislation.

Contact The Constitutional Coalition, PO Box 37054, St. Louis, MO  63141, for a complete copy of the Spring 2021 Front Line.

 2021 Page One Spring Front Line


1 “11 Myths About H.R. 5, The Equality Act of 2021,” Heritage.Org, https://www.heritage.org/gender/report/11-myths-about-hr-5-the-equality-act-2021, accessed March 12, 2021.

2 Graham, Franklin, “We Cannot Remain Silent!” Samaritan’s Purse, samaritan.org, February 24, 2021, accessed February 24, 2021.

3 “The Equality Act: How Could Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Laws Affect You?,” https://www.heritage.org/gender/heritage-explains/the-equality-act, Heritage.org, 2019_01_0003_SOGIOne-Pager_DIGITAL-cover.pdf, accessed March 12, 2021.


As published in Front Line, Vol. XLII, No. 1, March 2021


How to Make It Easy to Vote and Tough to Cheat

Thor Hearne1

Former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III observed that the winner of an election can always be persuaded they won in a fair and honest election. The challenge, Secretary Baker said, is to have an election (especially a very close election) in which the losing candidate (and that candidates’ supporters) believe the election to have been fair and honest even though they did not win.

Secretary Baker co-chaired the Commission on Federal Election Reform with President Jimmy Carter. After considering the testimony of many experts and election officials from throughout the nation and across the political spectrum the Carter-Baker commission issued its highly praised report in 2005. The Carter-Baker Commission addressed the “crisis of confidence” many Americans had in our nations’ election system after the 2000 presidential election and the Bush v. Gore litigation. The Carter-Baker Commission made a series of specific recommendations to increase public confidence in American elections.2

The bi-partisan Commission identified five central principles necessary for fair and honest elections.

  • Current and accurate voter rolls.
  • Requiring voters to provide photo ID to validate the persons eligibility to cast a ballot.
  • Measures to achieve the greatest level of confidence and opportunity for all eligible voters to cast a ballot.
  • Voting machines that tabulate ballots accurately and can be verified with a paper record.
  • Fair, impartial election administration with transparency and provided observers a meaningful opportunity to view all aspects of the conduct of the election.

Among the specific recommendations to combat mail-in vote fraud and voter registration fraud was a prohibition “ballot harvesting.” The Commission recommended “[a]ll states should prohibit a person from handling absentee ballots other than the voter, an acknowledged family member, the U.S. Postal service … or election officials. The practice in some states of allowing candidates or party workers to pick up and deliver absentee ballots should be eliminated.”

Indiana adopted the Carter-Barker Commission’s recommendation and required voters to identify themselves with a photo ID that was provided to all eligible voters for free. Democrat activists and partisan operatives sued to have Indiana’s photo ID law declared unconstitutional. The Supreme Court relied heavily upon the Carter-Baker Report in concluding that Indiana was justified in adopting a photo ID law as a means to prevent vote fraud and safeguard voters’ confidence in the election. Crawford v. Marion County Elec. Bd. 553 U.S. 181 (2008). The Supreme Court wrote, “There is no question about the legitimacy or importance of the State’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters. Moreover, the interest in orderly administration and accurate recordkeeping provides a sufficient justification for carefully identifying all voters participating in the election process.” Following Crawford the federal Courts of Appeal have upheld similar photo ID laws and protections against vote fraud. Lee v. Virginia, 843 F.3d 592 (4th Cir, 2016) is an example. Hillary Clinton’s attorney Marc Ellis unsuccessfully tried to overturn Virginia’s voter ID law in the 2016 presidential election. Relying upon the Carter-Baker report and the Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford, the Fourth Circuit unanimously upheld Virginia’s voter ID law.

In the 2020 presidential election, a calculated strategy was mounted to rig the election by changing the rules for the conduct of the election. Democrats bragged about this coordinated assault on our election process in a recent Times magazine article. A centerpiece of this effort was changing the rules governing the conduct of the election with lawsuits filed before friendly judges and state and local election officials changing the rules under the pretext of the COVID‑19 virus. Excluding observers from monitoring the conduct of the election, mailing out a massive number of ballots that could not be verified, and ballot harvesting by political operatives were only some of the tactics that undermined public confidence in the outcome. The federal and state constitution provide that the state legislatures are to establish the laws governing the conduct of elections. These election laws cannot be rewritten by judges or executive branch officials. Furthermore, arbitrarily changing election rules to favor only certain partisan precincts such as the Democrat Wayne County in Michigan violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection as explained by the Supreme Court in Bush v. Gore.

The Democrat House has now passed H.R. 1 which is a highly-partisan election bill that (if passed by the Senate) would institutionalize what the Democrats sought to do with litigation and arbitrary orders by state and local election officials during the 2020 election. H.R. 1 is the antithesis of the bipartisan Carter-Barker Commission’s recommendations. H.R. 1 would, among its other evils, eliminate voter ID, prevent the states from removing dead and fraudulent names from the voter registration rolls, require mail-in voting and allow ballot harvesting. These and the other provisions of H.R. 1 promote election fraud, would allow future elections to be rigged and destroy any basis for Americans’ confidence in the outcome of our elections. The constitutional infirmities of H.R. 1 are legion, and it will hopefully not pass the Senate.

Every American, of whatever political party, should be vigilant to preserve and protect the integrity of our elections. If elections can be rigged, stolen and manipulated, then we will have lost our nation and it will be very difficult, or impossible, to regain.


1 Thor Hearne is the eldest son of Donna Hearne. Thor was President George W. Bush’s national election counsel in 2004, served as legal counsel to Secretary of State Baker on the Carter-Baker Commission, represented the leadership of the House and Senate in the Supreme Court in Crawford, successfully represented the Commonwealth of Virginia defending the state’s voter ID law in Lee v. Virginia and represented President Donald J. Trump and Michigan voters in election litigation during the 2020 presidential election.

2 “Building Confidence in U.S. Elections,” Center for Democracy and Election Manage-ment, September 2005, https://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/election_reform_report.pdf, accessed March 14, 2021.

Speak the Truth … To Preserve Freedom

As published in Front Line, Vol. XL, No. 1, April 2019

Carlson Front PageEveryday, evil and malicious, powerful “enemy soldiers” are creeping up behind normal, God-fearing, law-abiding Americans and slapping duct tape over their mouths preventing Americans from speaking the truth. Literally and figuratively. Have YOU been one of their victims?

Have you caught yourself “self-censoring” your political/religious speech when around others? Afraid you would be accused of “hate-speech?” Think your conservative Judeo-Christian worldview might be “hate speech?” Not really sure what “hate speech” is? Feel it’s better to be safe? Concerned that all you write on the Internet or text could be considered by someone to be offensive or even hateful? If you have, welcome to the world of George Orwell’s 1984.

We Will Never Bow to the Mob!

Speak the Truth … To Save Our Children

As published in Front Line, Vol. XL, No. 1, April 2019

Blindfold iStock-949050074Today, somewhere in a public school classroom, five and six-year-old kindergarten children are being recruited by Planned Parenthood’s comprehensive sex education curriculum into a lifestyle glamorizing sex, which for some, ultimately results in castration and sterilization. It begins with being read the book called, Who Are You? A Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity by Brook Pessin-Whedbee.”1

Teens as young as 15 in Oregon2 (and potentially other states) are receiving hormone blocking drugs and even surgery to change their gender without parent’s knowledge, leading to the child losing their ability to bear/father children, even if later the grown child wants to reverse the sex change. Adults, including doctors, are using the “affirmative care” approach that lets the child chart his future instead of allowing wise adults to provide sound science that says,

Speak the Truth … For Strong Families

As published in Front Line, Vol. XL, No. 1, April 2019

Large Family iStock-91840130Speaking the truth about the movement to sterilize some of the future generations through chemicals and surgery, abort babies of deluded young girls, and the crusade to shut down all discussion that is not approved by the progressives requires doing something else. It also means educating, supporting and promoting the historic nuclear family of a biological mother and father.

Twenty-first century America not only has accepted the muzzling of truth, but also has been sold a lifestyle that, if continued unabated, is guaranteed to end America’s freedom and opportunity as set out by our Founding Fathers. Sexual licentiousness puts self-pleasure before historic understandings of the critical and moral role that the nuclear family plays in maintaining and perpetrating a free and prosperous civilization.