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In some countries, journalists themselves, acting as a guild, use licensing to restrict access and competition. In others, the government simply licenses only those who follow the official line or who can be forced to do so by the threat of revocation.

Mr. Cornyn is correct. The bill should be defeated in the name of the First Amendment. Perhaps Sens. Schumer and Feinstein would benefit from reading the State Department’s own digital publication on government licensing: ” when a government asserts authority to determine who can and cannot cover the news, it claims, says Leonard Sussman of Freedom House, ‘a license to censor.’”

Or perhaps they already have.

David A. Keene is opinion editor of The Washington Times.