President Donald Trump’s latest effort to curb language in federal law could be derailed by the House, Senate and the Supreme Court, analysts warn.
Lawmakers have been working on the controversial language since Trump took office and passed it last month, with a simple majority in both chambers.
The bill has sparked bipartisan ire among critics who argue it is an unconstitutional attempt to limit the rights of Americans to express their thoughts and opinions.
It could be one of the most divisive issues facing Congress and the nation, said Dan Gainor, a professor of law at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of a book on the subject.
“This language could be used to target people based on their religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political ideology, etc.,” Gainor said.
“It could also be used as a way to punish speech that does not conform to the dominant political narrative.”
Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is the only Democrat in the Senate who has introduced legislation to block the legislation.
Toomeys legislation has yet to receive a vote in the Republican-led chamber.
Gainor said it is unclear how Congress can override the president’s veto of the bill if it has the support of the House.
The law could also face challenges from the Supreme Council of Justice, a three-person body that oversees the constitutionality of federal laws, including the First Amendment, which protects free speech.
The council could potentially intervene if it believes the law is being used to punish religious freedom, for example, or to stifle political dissent, Gainor told The Hill.
“It’s a very complex question,” Gainor added.
“But I think we’re going to see a lot of pressure put on it from the courts and from the Congress.
It’s very much a case of two branches of government trying to solve a problem that they can’t solve themselves.”
Trump has said the language could hurt his political future and that he will veto it.
“I will veto this law if it goes against the Constitution,” Trump told Fox News on January 20.
“And if they’re going in to do it to hurt my candidacy, I will veto that law.”
Lawmakers in both houses of Congress have expressed frustration with the president, saying the legislation violates the rights and freedoms of Americans.
Democrats have also been working to derail the law, arguing that it is aimed at shutting down debate in the U.S. and stifling free speech in the nation’s capital.
The language is also likely to face a legal challenge.
If it is ruled unconstitutional, the law could face a potential legal challenge on the grounds that it violates the First and 14th Amendments.