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South Carolina Freedom Caucus Files Lawsuit

Conservative group pushes for sanctioned status within S.C. House of Representatives …

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In a move that could have far-reaching consequences for the South Carolina House of Representatives, the Palmetto State’s Freedom Caucus is suing the chamber’s ethics committee – seeking official recognition as a full legislative caucus. Joining it in the lawsuit is America First Legal (AFL), an organization led by former Trump administration senior advisor Stephen Miller.

There is more at stake in the suit than merely a group of legislators seeking a particular designation. At issue is broadening the scope of House members to legally raise money, hire staff, promote their message and play a role in upcoming election campaigns.

Currently, only four such collectives have official caucus status: The Democratic, Republican, Black, and Women’s caucuses. While other groups of like-minded House lawmakers have chosen to band together and identify as caucuses – focusing their attention on family and veterans’ issues – they are prohibited by law from the benefits that accompany sanctioned caucus status.



Due to that hindrance, their ability to make an impact is significantly – and they would argue, unfairly – limited.

The Freedom Caucus’ lawsuit seeks to level the playing field. If the organization is successful, the change could greatly expand political discourse within the legislature. To put it simply, it would break the monopoly now enjoyed only by the existing Big Four caucuses. That monopoly is used to effectively stifle dissent, disagreement, and opposing dialogue within the House by making sure only their voices are heard.

“South Carolina law prohibits the Freedom Caucus from enjoying the same privileges as other caucuses,” its chairman Adam Morgan. “Caucuses formed on the basis of political party, race, and gender can engage in core political speech, raise money, and influence the outcome of an election. Caucuses formed on the basis of conservative ideology cannot. That violates the First Amendment.”

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Adam Morgan (Facebook)

Freedom Caucus vice chairman RJ May III put it more bluntly …

“This unconstitutional law, much like the slimy incumbent protection pledge being pushed by the House Republican Caucus, exists to maintain the failed status quo and silence conservatives from challenging the ruling coalition of moderate Republicans and their Democrat allies,” May said. “In turn, this harms not only us but the constituents we serve who desire a more accountable and transparent government.”

The twenty members of the Freedom Caucus know firsthand what happens to members who buck the party bosses within the House. Sixteen of them were expelled from the House Republican Caucus in January after refusing to sign a so-called “loyalty oath” crafted to muzzle them from calling attention to the voting records of their moderate colleagues.

“Our loyalties are to the Constitution and our constituents,” the Freedom Caucus said at the time. “We didn’t get sent to Columbia to join an incumbent protection racket. We were sent here to fight for conservative policy.”



Mark Powell (Provided)

J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at



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