One of the major issues of our time is the Left’s attempt to ban conservative speech where it now matters most: on social media platforms. The Left monopolizes social media outlets, and if an upstart competitor rears its head–Parler, say–it is crushed by an obviously-illegal combination or conspiracy in restraint of trade. (See Section 1 of the Sherman Act.) Good luck litigating that for the next ten years while you have no revenue, and while the Left solidifies its control.
What to do about this threat to our freedom? Action at the federal level is impossible, since the Democrats love having private companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google do their bidding. And why wouldn’t they? Those fabulously profitable companies expect, no doubt correctly, that enforcing Leftist orthodoxy on their platforms will buy immunity from antitrust scrutiny in any Democratic administration. If you are a Silicon Valley monopolist, what’s not to like?
There is only one solution: action at the state level. Free-speech advocates control something like 30 states, and if we act intelligently, we can stop the Left-wing oligarchs in their tracks. I wrote about this idea here, here and here. The key is to get well-conceived and well-drafted statutes passed in multiple states. In Minnesota, a bill couched in terms of anti-discrimination is making its way through the process. I have already endorsed this proposed law:
Columbia Law School professor Phil Hamburger, renowned for his book Is Administrative Law Unlawful?, has drafted another very good bill. It incorporates our idea of banning discrimination on a number of grounds–race, sex, religion, political orientation–and adds some further elements:
I commend Phil’s bill to the attention of pro-freedom legislators everywhere.
Other bills, some good, some not so good, are making their way through various state legislatures. Ron DeSantis, happily, has entered the lists. His press conference on this subject drew national attention, and his line–“You can whiz on my leg, but don’t tell me it’s raining”–may go down in history. But to my knowledge, they are still drafting in Florida, and we don’t yet have a finished bill to comment on. Likewise with another bellwether state, South Dakota.
I am fine with different states taking different approaches; in fact, that is desirable. We can’t know at this point what will work best. What is essential is that 30 states–or, more realistically, 10 or 15–enact solid, well-drafted laws that seek to rein in the unholy Democratic Party/Big Tech monopoly alliance. Time will tell which approach works best. But that said, I commend the Minnesota bill, and Phil Hamburger’s, to all state reps and staffers who are reading this post. I think we have hit on the best angle to take down the left-wing tech monopoly.
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