First Amendment

To the Supreme Court

Featured image I found the oral argument of the case now styled Murthy v. Missouri last month to be utterly demoralizing. As soon as the oral argument concluded I rashly hazarded my assessment that it portends a victory for the massive censorship-industrial complex represented by the Biden administration, probably on procedural grounds (i.e., standing). My assessment was a hot take based on the tenor of the argument. The argument seemed to me »

A life and death issue

Featured image Professor Jonathan Turley has concerns about the fate of the First Amendment based in part on the oral argument in Murthy v. Missouri. He writes: In Murthy v. Missouri, the court is considering a massive censorship system coordinated by federal agencies and social media companies. This effort was ramped up under President Joe Biden, who is arguably the most anti-free speech president since John Adams. Biden has accused companies of »

The right to shout “BS” during a pandemic

Featured image I found the oral argument of the case now styled Murthy v. Missouri this past Monday to be utterly demoralizing. As soon as the oral argument concluded I rashly hazarded my assessment that it portends a victory for the massive censorship-industrial complex represented by the Biden administration. My assessment was a hot take based on the tenor of the argument. The argument seemed to me to reflect a fantasy world. »

A bloodbath in the Supreme Court

Featured image This morning the Supreme Court held oral argument in the case that is now styled Murthy v. Missouri. C-SPAN has posted audio of the oral argument here. The case arises from the government’s “encouragement” of censorship by the social media platforms, as documented in the Twitter Files. We have followed the case as it has wended its way through the district court to the Fifth Circuit and then to the »

Oh, yeah: The Samizdat Prize

Featured image RealClearFoundation president David DesRosiers has announced the inaugural winners of of its Samizdat Prize. Tonight’s the night. The Samizdat Prize is intended to honor the most important users of the First Amendment in the United States. The prize aspires to confer the honor that various of the Pulitzer Prizes bestow and should replace them in the mind of right-thinking men and women. In the words of DesRosiers, the award that »

Happy new year, DFL style

Featured image Reflecting the Democrat mania to control free speech, Minnesota Democrats enacted a law conflicting with the proposition that corporations have a constitutional right to speak independently about politics. I learned about the law from the December 18 Wall Street Journal column “Minnesota’s Xenophobic Restrictions on Speech” by Brad Smith and Eric Wang. The “xenophobia” flagged in the Journal headline is entirely pretextual. The subhead homes in on the problem: “[The] »

Dan Goldman’s clown show

Featured image Matt Taibbi appeared as a witness to testify at the recent congressional hearing in which Rep. Dan Goldman made a fool of himself again. Taibbi chronicled the doings in his Racket News column “Dan Goldman, Democrats, Make a Clown Show of Censorship Hearing,” behind the Racket News paywall. However, Taibbi has posted a narrated version of the column in the video below. I thought some readers would find this of »

Government Censorship: A Conspiracy Theory?

Featured image Lately Democrats have fallen into the habit of labeling all facts they would rather not talk about as “conspiracy theories.” They must think it works. Yesterday, Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger testified before Jim Jordan’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Matt recorded the experience, which he describes as “surreal,” at Racket News. Representative Dan Goldman is the Democrats’ attack dog on the subcommittee. Goldman hasn’t given »

The Rise of Censorship and the Death of Journalism

Featured image Matt Taibbi was the principal reporter who broke the Twitter Files story, one of the major news events not just of the past year, but of the past decade. The fact that federal agencies leaned on, and collaborated with, tech companies to suppress Americans’ freedom of speech and dictate the limits of public debate on several critical issues, is the most important scandal of our time. And the fact that »

Trump the Authoritarian

Featured image Democrats like to label Donald Trump an authoritarian. This is why he supposedly is a threat to “our democracy.” The charge is generally groundless. Trump was president for four years, so he has a track record as the least authoritarian president of recent years. But Trump, being Trump, can’t get out of his own way. So earlier this week, on Truth Social, he handed the Democrats all the ammunition they »

Biden hits the fan in the Fifth Circuit, part 2

Featured image A month ago the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the Biden administration’s plea to set aside Judge Terry Doughty’s preliminary injunction in Missouri v. Biden. Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum ruling in support of the injunction is posted online here. Judge Doughty’s injunction is separately posted here. I anticipated the appellate proceedings in “Walk away, Joe.” Having listened to the oral argument before the Fifth Circuit, I threw caution to »

In re the censorship regime

Featured image Zach Weissmueller takes a deep dive into Missouri v. Biden with (plaintiff) the great Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and attorney John Vecchione in the Reason podcast (video below). Reason provides background for the podcast here. We have covered the lawsuit and the underlying issues of the epidemic and social media censorship repeatedly on this site. The historical review captured in the video is enraging and the related clips included light it »

Biden hits the fan in Fifth Circuit

Featured image On Independence Day last month, Western District Louisiana federal district judge Terry Doughty preliminarily enjoined the Biden administration from continuing its censorship regime in place. Judge Doughty’s 155-page memorandum is posted online here. Judge Doughty’s preliminary injunction is posted here. I anticipated the interlocutory appellate proceedings in “Walk away, Joe.” The government’s appeal of Judge Doughty’s preliminary injunction came before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit for oral argument »

Thought for the day

Featured image Columbia Law School Professor Philip Hamburger and his New Civil Liberties Alliance colleague Jenin Younes write in their column “The Biden Administration’s Assault on Free Speech” in today’s Wall Street Journal: [T]he nation needs to come to terms with the reality and scale of the assault on free speech. Our government has established a vast system of censorship. By keeping it largely secret, it has been able to exert unconstitutional »

The Facebook Files: More Censorship Revealed

Featured image Rep. Jim Jordan’s House committee has been trying for some time to extract documents from Facebook relating to the Biden administration’s leaning on that platform to censor content. Jordan eventually threatened to hold Mark Zuckerberg in contempt, and Facebook finally produced the files. Jordan has now released some highlights on Twitter. These documents, similar to the Twitter files, clearly show the administration’s effort to use the social media companies to »

Media access in one state revisited

Featured image The Minnesota Reformer is a “progressive” left-wing site edited by Patrick Coolican. I came to know and respect Patrick when he was a reporter covering Minnesota politics for the Star Tribune. Patrick and Stephen Montemayor wrote the Star Tribune’s 2019 story (“New documents revisit questions about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage history”) delving into Rep. Ilhan Omar’s marriage to her brother. The story was three years late, but otherwise excellent. Anyone »

Memo to Supreme Court: Save the First Amendment!

Featured image The First Amendment is under unprecedented attack, as the Democratic Party has weaponized one federal and state agency after another to go after its opponents. An important instance of this phenomenon is the effort by Democratic banking regulators to deprive disfavored organizations of access to our financial system. The issue is raised in NRA v. Vullo (the link goes to Eugene Volokh’s discussion of the case). The facts underlying the »