The team at Public are celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s imminent ruling on the constitutionality of Government demands for social media censorship. Here’s an extract from their Substack:
For months, the mainstream news media have described the Censorship Industrial Complex as a conspiracy theory invented by the Twitter Files journalists and Republicans. The New York Times, Washington Post, PBS ‘Frontline’ and most other news outlets have published story after story claiming that there is an orchestrated effort by people who don’t care about the truth to mischaracterise the work of well-intentioned ‘misinformation researchers’.
But now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear and rule upon the constitutionality of the Censorship Industrial Complex as denounced by the Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana in their lawsuit against the Biden administration for demanding censorship by social media platforms of disfavoured views on Covid, elections and other issues.
“We look forward to vindicating the First Amendment rights of our clients, and all Americans, in the nation’s highest court,” wrote Jenin Younes, a staff attorney for the New Civil Liberties Association, on X. Younes has been working with Columbia law professor, Philip Hamburger, who Public interviewed in July. Together they represent Stanford professor Jay Bhattacharya, also interviewed by Public in July, former U.C. Irvine psychiatrist Aaron Kheriaty, Harvard professor, Martin Kulldorff, and others.
It’s not all good news. The Supreme Court also granted the Biden administration’s motion to stay the injunction until it can hear the case later this year or next. As a result, U.S. Government employees are no longer prohibited from communicating to social media companies, as they had been by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. This resulted in a dissenting opinion by Supreme Court justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorush and Clarence Thomas.
“Government censorship of private speech is antithetical to our democratic form of government,” wrote Alito, “and therefore today’s decision is highly disturbing… Despite the Government’s conspicuous failure to establish a threat of irreparable harm, the majority stays the injunction and thus allows the defendants to persist in committing the type of First Amendment violations that the lower courts identified. The majority takes this action in the face of the lower courts’ detailed findings of fact.”
We agree with Alito, et al., but are also enormously relieved that the Supreme Court will hear the case at all. Many neutral legal observers say this is one of the most important censorship cases in the Court’s history. It will be, without a doubt, the most important since the rise of the internet over the last 30 years. It will likely have implications on free speech issues for the next 30 or more.
Worth reading in full.