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NCLA’s King George III Award Recognizes Atty. General Garland as Worst Violator of Civil Liberties

Washington, DC (June 2, 2023) – The People have spoken. The biggest abuser of civil liberties in the Administrative State is Attorney General Merrick Garland. After a weeks-long public vote as part of the New Civil Liberties Alliance’s Third Annual “King George III Prize,” Garland garnered the most votes among overreaching bureaucrats in a bracket campaign that ran on NCLA’s social media sites. Garland prevailed out of a “Flagrant Four” finalists that included California Governor Gavin Newsom, student loan cancellation architect Richard Cordray, and FBI agent (and social media censor) Elvis Chan. The award was announced last night at an event in Washington, DC.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland received the Prize for presiding over the reckless and corrosive politicization of the Department of Justice, trampling the First Amendment and other civil rights in the process. NCLA is currently suing over the government’s attempts to use private companies like Twitter to circumvent the Constitution’s ban on censorship. NCLA also recently won a case against Garland over ATF’s unlawful bump stock ban. Whether to protect the government’s Covid-19 narrative or tamper with electoral outcomes, Garland’s DOJ has worked to silence and control Americans. Cartoonist Tom Stiglich curated a special cartoon for Thursday’s occasion, illustrating the Attorney General’s seeming disregard for constitutional rights.

In addition to the KGIII Prize, the New Civil Liberties Alliance awarded charter boat Captain Allen Walburn the George Washington Award for Client Bravery. Capt. Walburn was a named plaintiff in NCLA’s successful class-action lawsuit, Mexican Gulf Fishing Company v. NOAA, challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Final Rule requiring charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico to buy and install a vessel monitoring system that federal authorities would use to track them 24/7. Capt. Walburn and over 1,300 other charter boat captains won before an en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which set the regulation aside in February.

NCLA also presented attorney and First Amendment legend Floyd Abrams with the George Washington Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service, while Nicolas Morgan and his Paul Hastings LLP team took home the Ally Award for Best Amicus Curiae Brief. Finally, NCLA recognized the winner of its Student Note Competition, Justin Marks of Ohio Northern University Law School, who earned a $10,000 prize to be split with the Ohio Northern University Law Review for his insightful publication entitled: “Fighting a Foreseeable Fauci ‘Fourth’: A Fourth Amendment Take on Hypothetical ‘Lock-Down’ Orders.”

NCLA released the following statements:

“I joined NCLA after the Administrative State crushed my retail businesses during the pandemic, and I’m still angry about the violation of my civil liberties. This is NCLA’s third year running the King George III Prize, and Merrick Garland got more votes this year than Anthony ‘I represent science’ Fauci received when he won last year! Calling out these abusers of our civil liberties in an annual competition draws much-needed attention to bureaucrats run amok.”
— Clegg Ivey, Director of Engagement, NCLA

“Attorney General Merrick Garland is the government official most responsible for violating civil liberties this past year. It is a sad day when America’s chief law enforcement officer is also its greatest civil liberties violator. But with social media censorship, attacks on parents attending school board meetings, other shenanigans at the FBI, the bump stock ban and similar outrages at ATF, and presiding over a glaring double standard in enforcing other laws across DOJ, Attorney General Garland richly deserves this ignominious prize.”
— Mark Chenoweth, President and General Counsel, NCLA

For more information visit the King George III Prize page here. 


NCLA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group founded by prominent legal scholar Philip Hamburger to protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the Administrative State. NCLA’s public-interest litigation and other pro bono advocacy strive to tame the unlawful power of state and federal agencies and to foster a new civil liberties movement that will help restore Americans’ fundamental rights.

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