Government Watch / Politics

Supreme Court Showdown on Censorship Ahead

Supreme Court

A staggering 99% of Twitter employees who make political contributions give to Democrats. It’s almost as lopsided at Facebook and Alphabet (the parent company of Google), according to Federal Election Commission records.

Relying on these left-leaning tech platforms to be even-handed was always naive. But recent evidence — email correspondence between Big Tech executives and some 45 Biden administration officials — suggests a danger even bigger than Silicon Valley bias. Government is actually calling the shots on what to censor. The U.S Constitution bars government from censoring, so Team Biden has deputized Silicon Valley to do its dirty work.

The complicity between the Biden administration and Big Tech should frighten all Americans. It’s like a vice tightening its grip, snuffing out freedom. That makes reining in Big Tech even more urgent. On Sept. 16, the opportunity arrived.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected “the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say,” according to Federal Judge Andrew Oldham. The court upheld a Texas law that bars social media companies from taking down postings based on political view.

For two decades, tech giants have claimed a constitutional right to remove anything and anyone from their platforms. The appeals court said no.

The social media giants are appealing their loss to the United States Supreme Court. Justice Samuel Alito indicated the case “will plainly merit this court’s review.”

Get ready for a Supreme Court showdown, with Clarence Thomas leading the effort to check Silicon Valley’s power. In April 2021, Thomas lamented “the concentrated control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties.” Rather than waiting for Congress to fix it, Thomas said the Court should fashion a remedy as soon as a case comes before it. That time has arrived.

Thomas has proposed that social media platforms be regulated like common carriers or public utilities. AT&T can’t refuse to open a phone account because of your political views. Your local electric company can’t pick and choose its customers, and neither can Amtrak.

In 1980, the Supreme Court ruled in Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins that California could compel a shopping mall owner to open the premises to political protesters distributing leaflets. California required the mall to be open to all speakers. Shopping malls were the public squares of the 1980s. Digital platforms are the 21st-century public squares.

They must not become government’s handmaiden. We have evidence that is occurring, thanks to a lawsuit brought by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry against top Biden officials. Citing frequent email exchanges between these officials and Big Tech employees, Schmitt and Landry warn of a “massive, sprawling federal ‘Censorship Enterprise'” and claim the Biden administration has “colluded with social media companies to censor free speech.”

There are more revelations to come. Dr. Anthony Fauci and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre were ordered by a federal court on Sept. 6 to turn over their email exchanges with Big Tech to the Missouri attorney general.

The Biden administration claims to be fighting to protect democracy. But its efforts to silence political rivals using Big Tech censorship proves the hypocrisy of that claim. Keeping social media platforms open to all viewpoints is vital to democracy.

It’s also vital to the free exchange of scientific ideas. Big Tech willingly complied with the Biden administration’s attempts to stamp out scientific disagreement over how to handle COVID. Scientists who dissented from the party line on lockdowns, masking, school closures and even the virus’s origins were blocked. The result was a phony scientific consensus and many costly mistakes.

In September 2021, when YouTube suspended Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (a physician) for posting a video reporting that cloth masks are ineffective, Paul charged that social media companies were acting as an arm of the federal government. ABC News bashed Paul’s accusation as “without evidence.”

Now, we have the evidence.

Fortunately, the appeals court ruling puts the Supreme Court on course to check social media’s unfettered and increasingly dangerous censorship power.

Just in time. Democracy and free scientific inquiry will be safer for it.

Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York and chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Follow her on Twitter @Betsy_McCaughey. To find out more about Betsy McCaughey and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website.

COPYRIGHT 2022 CREATORS.COM


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ezed2109
19 days ago

In public settings we all have free speech with certain understandings. I cannot falsely yell fire in a crowed theater because it would cause potential physical danger. I can be charge with a crime.
I cannot go and claim my neighbor is a pedophile without proof (e.g. conviction in court of law), If it is not true they can sue me for liable.
Controlling speech on these platforms is going to be much harder because of the anonymous nature of many users on Social Media platforms. Who can you sue on Social Media for lies if the person cannot be confronted?
So do we then just allow ALL speech? What about things deemed totally inappropriate… a slippery slope. Some things that would have been obviously perverted and inappropriate 10 years ago are now being considered acceptable to many on the Left; for example, drag queens & children story times or strutting down a runway to stuff dollar bills.
So how and who decides the social norms on what is to be allowed and other things censored? As a nation we need to establish some moral limits that are healthy and acceptable to the vast majority. What somebody does in the privacy of their home is their business and their right… but these are public forums and the rest of us have rights as well.

Michael Lewis
2 months ago

After Watergate, to protect the public from the appearance of corruption, The Federal Election Campaign Act abridged the freedoms of speech press and assembly of the regulated class: candidates for Federal Office, political parties, PAC’s and individual citizens.
Corporate media were exempted from campaign laws because government could not infringe on their 1st Amendment rights. However, if the 1st Amendment defined the institutional press as the definition of press, there would be no need to exempt them from campaign law:
52 U.S. Code § 30101 – Definitions (9)(B) The term “expenditure” does not include— (i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; – law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/52/30101
52 U.S. Code § 30101 created a “Royal”, “State Approved” press!
if candidates and political parties have to pay for time/space in the media, then editorials have political value. The “press exemption” insures the corporate voice retains more influence than the voice of the electorate.
To restore equal rights to citizens, federal candidates, political parties and PACs “We the People” should ask our representatives in the Senate and House to revisit the “Free All Speech Act of 2014.”
2d Session
S. 2416
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
June 3, 2014
Mr. Cruz introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
A BILL
To apply laws that restrict the political speech of American citizens to media corporations.
1. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Free All Speech Act of 2014 .
2. Application of laws that restrict the political speech of American citizens to media corporations
(a) In general
Any law that restricts the political speech of American citizens shall apply with equal force to media corporations, such as the New York Times, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and the CBS Television Network.
(b) No application to American citizens if application to media corporations found unconstitutional
To the extent that the application of a law to a media corporation under subsection (a) is found unconstitutional, such law shall have no force or effect with respect to American citizens.

Michael Lewis
2 months ago

In 1789 The Constitution and Bill of Rights are established as the law of the land.
For 97 years it was understood that 1st Amendment freedoms of speech, press and assembly were the sole rights of flesh and blood citizens. Corporations had no rights. Newspapers had the right to print because they employed people.
In 1886 footnotes to the Santa Clara Railroad case, written by a Supreme Court Clerk who was previously a railroad executive, became the basis for corporations claiming the same rights as flesh and blood people.
We all know that, as things actually are, many of the most influential and most highly remunerated members of the Bar in every center of wealth, make it their special task to work out bold and ingenious schemes by which their wealthy clients, individual or corporate, can evade the laws which were made to regulate, in the interests of the public, the uses of great wealth. – T. Roosevelt, 1905
In the words of E.W. Scripps: A newspaper must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper’s income… The press in this country is dominated by the wealthy few…that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people Shall have in order that they vote…in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and chicanery of the ruling and employing classes – E.W. Scripps – American Newspaper Publisher 1854-1926
It is normal for all large businesses to make serious efforts to influence the news, to avoid embarrassing publicity, and to maximize sympathetic public opinion and government policies. Now they own most of the news media that they wish to influence. – Excerpt from Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian – 1920-2016
“The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” -Alex Carey, Australian social scientist who pioneered the investigation of corporate propaganda (see Taking the Risk Out Of Democracy, Univ of New South Wales, 1995)
The American people don’t believe anything until they see it on television. – Richard M. Nixon
The people will believe what the media tells them they believe. – George Orwell
In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. In 2011, that same 90% is controlled by 6 companies.

Susan Derome
2 months ago

Thank you AMAC for bringing this to our attention. I am a member and I appreciate all that you do for us. We have to vote the commies out of the White House. Make sure you vote Red.

Centurion
2 months ago

Big Tech has become the new “Ministry of Truth.” The SCOTUS must declare Big Tech is no longer protected by Section 230. Section 230 protects “platforms” from lawsuits over what people say on the web site. The very first moment facebook, twitter, et. al., censored someone’s speech they became “publishers.” Publishers are NOT protected under Section 230. Let the lawsuits begin.

Myrna Wade
2 months ago

How long the democrats will run the country as though they are oblivious to the rights of citizens is the question. We have political prisoners held because the area in which they are accused (DC) is owned by democrats. Right now freedom of speech is limited to those whose speech is approved (so it is not free).

Denise
2 months ago

What the (illegal) budding Biden regime is doing is just what Red China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba and every other now communist nation started out doing. Censorship, using schools to push their filthy agenda, “news”papers printing only what they’re told to print, denying the use of billions of gallon of oil under this nation (IE: how are you going to go from point A to point B) and pushing hideously expensive and ineffective ‘electric’ cars, then claiming they have nothing to do with the rising prices and fuel shortages etc. More and more of our farm lands being bought up and taken out of food production. Now also pushing for fewer employed in the next decade…say what?? Animal Farm is alive and thriving in Washington D.C.
Maybe I’m sounding like chicken little…but I remember vividly George Bush Sr’s.presidential acceptance speech when he said; “We must usher in the New World Order”. Think about that in light of how fast and far this nation has been taken down since the barely functioning (and completely controlled) bumbling Biden came on the scene.

William C Smith
2 months ago

Beat the drums to expose the “leaker.”

pete
2 months ago

1984 is alive and well.

mytake
2 months ago

Social media is a socialist tool to exploit the population and use it to intimidate the people. They have no right to censor anybody because they don’t agree with their point of view.

Marta Alvarez
2 months ago
Reply to  mytake

Unfortunately, they take the right to ‘administer justice at will’. If you express an opinion about certain group, FARC, the Colombian narco guerrilla in my case, you immediately get a warning from FB that your account will be shot down if you don’t retract your statement. But if you complain to FB of verbal violence used against you from an extreme leftist, they do not find them to be at fault. So Communist like policy…And it is allowed because those platforms favor the left above all. They are well paid.

mytake
2 months ago
Reply to  Marta Alvarez

We should all cancel our accounts. They are socialist/communist or worse.

Carol
2 months ago

Would be nice going into the next presidental election to have a truly free exchange of ideas and competing messages for all voters to read and start thinking for themselves instead of the conformity police on the left stamping out real debate!!! Maybe some of the brainwashed will be set free!!!

Michelle
2 months ago

This is good news.

Jeb
2 months ago

They will either support the First Amendment or they won’t. Not much to interpret here.

Nick Murphy
2 months ago

If the Supreme Court rules against big media and the government, Roe versus wade protests are going to look like a teenage girls pillow fight. I would expect open violence from the liberal left. Because we all know they cannot win if they can’t cheat and lie

Joseph
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick Murphy

Yes you are correct. The low IQ leftist is very violent and acts off pure emotion. They have no logical thinking process because of their low IQs. MAGA

2004done
2 months ago
Reply to  Nick Murphy

OTOH: I expected much violence at RvsW, but I guess the right was able to effectively argue that States SHOULD have control [I even heard schumer claim credit for returning to the States]. Unfortunately, I fear the Right in Congress “shot their wad” for courage on that one issue, so cheat/ lie will continue, and RINOs won’t object again (am I just being disappointed after a modest success, or realistic?)

Stephen Russell
2 months ago

Now to see the protestors BIG time aside from Pro Life groups alone Hooray

DenvilleSr
2 months ago

When the ruling political party and the majority of the press and social media combine to make the rules on what is misinformation, there is no avenue for free speech.

No-mask-one mask-two-mask Fauci was always providing correct information even though the information kept changing. What do you mean, cloth masks don’t work, Sen. Paul? Cloth masks only don’t work after the right people say they don’t work. COVID vaccines that did not prevent the spread were presented as effective in preventing spread. Saying the vaccines do not prevent spread was misinformation. Fauci was vaccinated and got COVID, as did many others. Hunter Biden’s laptop was misinformation, at least until it wasn’t. Obama had classified documents in his possession at least 16 months after he was no longer president, but there is no crime in that. Trump must be prosecuted for taking classified documents out of the White House. Free speech is a rare commodity in our world. Conservative college students believe it is dangerous to say what they believe. That should not be so in our nation.

ESteban
2 months ago

One big problem is that some of these platforms have reportedly been working in concert with government agencies. In that case they are an extension of that agency and are suppressing free speech. That is a first amendment no no.

Philip Hammersley
2 months ago
Reply to  ESteban

Businesses working “in concert” with the government is one sign of FASCISM!

Patriot Eric
2 months ago

It’s about time! These Nazi’s want to shut down anyone who does not agree with there BS!! FJB … MAGA

William C Smith
2 months ago

ABC News should be held accountable for their hasty and erroneous reporting. All media outlets, their reporters and contributors, must be held to a high standard of evidentiary proof of what they publish.

Philip Hammersley
2 months ago

Jonathan Karl brought a bought-and-paid-for ChiCom “reporter” to a White house briefing when Trump was president.

Joseph
2 months ago

Good news. I have no doubt this Supreme Court will rule the proper way and that decision will be a game changer. Thank you president Trump for over 300 judges to the federal bench and 3 SC Justices. Amazing accomplishment in 1 term, all the time having to look over his shoulder. MAGA

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