SHB 1333, to criminalize free speech and independent thought in Washington state

Feb 24, 2023

Key Findings

1. SHB 1333 would criminalize thought and expression under an invented category of offenses called “domestic violent extremism.”

2. Attorney General Bob Ferguson requested the bill in order to prosecute some people for words and speech, rather than for violent acts.

3. Under the bill government officials would decide whose words and whose speech would be subject to criminal prosecution.  

4. The Attorney General’s office would increase surveillance of citizens for perceived violations of words and speech prohibitions.

5. Citizens would be encouraged to report friends and neighbors to the state for officially-banned phrases, thoughts and expressions.  



SHB 1333, was introduced by Representative Ramos (D-Issaquah) on the recommendation of the state Attorney General. The bill is problematic in the way it addresses issues of free expression and core First Amendment concerns of state residents.

This Legislative Memo provides an overview of the bill, considers its constitutional implications, and assesses the harmful impact it would have on democracy and civic participation in Washington state.

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