Nikki Haley Wants Your Name

The presidential candidate seems to position herself on the other side of the First Amendment.

What’s happening: Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley’s name was trending on X yesterday — and not in a good way. The former governor of South Carolina is facing fierce criticism from conservatives for her recent comments regarding social media and free speech.

Taking names: Haley recently told Fox News the “first thing” she would do if elected would be to mandate “every person on social media should be verified by their name,” effectively banning anonymous accounts and anonymous speech.

  • The details: Haley suggested anonymous users were a “national security threat,” and argued, “You’re going to get some civility when people know their name is next to what they say.” She doubled down on her proposal during a recent podcast appearance: “I want everybody’s name.”

The backlash: Haley’s policy proposal was immediately met with ridicule and outrage from prominent conservatives, including primary opponents Vivek Ramaswamy and Ron DeSantis. DeSantis wrote Haley’s proposal was “dangerous and unconstitutional,” comparing it to Chinese censorship. Vivek tweeted: “This is disgusting.”

  • The Constitution: The First Amendment prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech,” and the Supreme Court has repeatedly protected anonymous speech. “Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority,” the Court opined in 1995. The Federalist Papers, revered by most conservatives, were published anonymously.

Why it matters: Haley is looking for ways to break away from the pack in the GOP primary where she currently polls behind former president Donald Trump and Flordia governor Ron DeSantis. These comments come in the wake of Haley being forced to fend off attacks from another presidential hopeful, Vivek Ramaswamy, during a recent Republican debate in Miami.

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