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Fleming v. The Daily Wire

In a victory for social media users everywhere, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has cleared Ben Shapiro, Co-Founder and Editor Emeritus of The Daily Wire, of a meritless charge. A random Twitter user had claimed that Mr. Shapiro violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when he posted a satirical tweet about a current news event. The New Civil Liberties Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, successfully defended The Daily Wire, LLC during pre-complaint investigations conducted by NLRB, resulting in a dismissal of the charge. NCLA commended NLRB for refusing to validate claims of wrongdoing by random individuals who were not “aggrieved” by the alleged unfair labor practice.

In September 2020, NLRB initiated an investigation into The Daily Wire based on separate charges filed by attorney Joel Fleming and The Committee to Preserve the Religious Right to Organize. The charges claimed that Mr. Shapiro violated the NLRA when he posted a tweet saying, “I have a message for DW employees. If you ever attempt anything like this, you can consider your strike permanent.” The tweet referenced the outrageous news that Spotify employees bizarrely had tried to assert editorial control over Joe Rogan’s podcast. Within hours of Mr. Shapiro’s first tweet, he published a second tweet stating, “DW employees have the same NLRA protections as everyone else,” and attached NLRB’s employees-rights poster.

During the seven-month-long investigation conducted by NLRB, the agency made intrusive discovery requests that were irrelevant to the alleged NLRA violation, and it refused to answer simple, threshold questions about the Board’s subject-matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, and lack of proper service. After NCLA contested the allegations, Mr. Fleming, who had no connection to The Daily Wire or to Mr. Shapiro, withdrew his charge. NLRB accepted the withdrawal and outright dismissed the complaint from the Committee to Preserve the Religious Right to Organize due to lack of merit.

Unfortunately, NLRB has targeted other prominent figures at the request of random people who disapprove of messages they see posted on social media. Individuals have the right to speak freely and satirically to express their personal views under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and the government should not allow itself to be co-opted by those who seek retribution against people they disagree with.

Ben Shapiro, Co-Founder and Editor Emeritus of The Daily Wire


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