Washington, D.C. — The New Civil Liberties Alliance supports and commends the legal action taken by the Cato Institute and the Institute for Justice against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s unconstitutional ‘gag rule.’ In the federal lawsuit, IJ represents Cato as a publisher seeking to publish a former businessman’s book about what he went through being sued by the SEC. But like so many other defendants, the SEC’s 1972 gag rule silenced him. The rule not only prevents him from discussing the case—but it also prevents Cato from publishing his book.

As NCLA Senior Litigation Counsel Peggy Little’s recent opinion editorial states, “The gag rule violates a hornbook’s worth of legal doctrine: It is a prior restraint and a content-based restriction on speech. It serves no compelling government interest while employing the most restrictive means to accomplish its ends. It prohibits truthful speech, compels government-scripted speech, violates due process, impairs the First Amendment rights to petition government, and infringes the right of the public to hear criticisms of the government.”

NCLA filed a petition in October asking the SEC to amend its controversial ‘gag rule,’ and Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) questioned SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on the issue at a Banking Committee hearing in December.

“Silencing Americans is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the administrative state’s power grabs. It will take an alliance of organizations like Cato, IJ, NCLA and others willing to represent the rights of Americans impacted by the expansion of the administrative state to end this injustice. We are up for that fight—and glad to have strong allies on our side.” – Mark Chenoweth, NCLA Executive Director and General Counsel

About NCLA
NCLA is a nonprofit civil rights organization founded by prominent legal scholar Philip Hamburger to protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the administrative state. NCLA’s pro bono public-interest litigation and other advocacy strive to tame the unchecked power of state and federal agencies and to foster a new civil liberties movement that will help restore Americans’ fundamental rights. For more information visit us online: NCLAlegal.org

Media Inquiries: Please contact Judy Pino, 202-869-5218 or email Judy.Pino@NCLA.legal