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Murthy v. Missouri censorship case, clueless set of judges consider free speech

"Public Advocate has filed a brief stressing the importance of Free Speech. However I noted last week on this website that justices seemed bored and uninformed on the topic of the First Amendment and seemed open to restricting free speech based on the questions from the bench during oral arguments. Now another observer agrees with the interesting possibility that the Court may further restrict free speech in America," says Eugene Delgaudio, president of Public Advocate.

The Federalist reports:

"They say bad facts make bad law. But bad hypotheticals make even worse law, especially when they come from a clueless set of judges considering the most important free speech case in years.

That thought repeatedly crossed my mind as I listened to the U.S. Supreme Court make a mockery of free speech in Monday's arguments in the Murthy v. Missouri censorship case.

Make no mistake: The actions that led the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana to sue the Biden administration were not normal. They were unprecedented, both in the extremes to which government officials went in their effort to pressure tech companies into censoring viewpoints they did not like and in the way the companies submitted to the government's pressure. To use White House official Rob Flaherty's word, they became "partners" in an Orwellian scheme to remove speech the government deemed false, misleading, or, in a perfect reflection of our elites' beloved new nanny state, "harmful" to society.

The institutionalists on the Supreme Court appeared not to care. They seemed more concerned about chilling the government's ability to criticize media outlets that print stories they don't like - something that, without attribution, Justice Elena Kagan said happens "thousands of times a day in the federal government" and which Kagan said she does herself. The institutionalists appeared more worried about a hypothetical of restricting law enforcement from informing a tech company (they always use the benign term inform) that people were using its platform to promote a teen suicide game. ..............

..............why should the government get to define what is true and what is false? Why should the government get to define what speech is misleading? Why should the government define what speech is harmful?

Those should be the central questions in these censorship cases. That is why the Missouri and Louisiana AGs filed this case. After all, speech that the government calls "misinformation" - and which it has successfully pressured Big Tech to block - often turns out to be true. Take, for example, the authenticity of Hunter Biden's laptop and the efficacy of the Covid-19 shots.................

..........................The Murthy argument showed a Supreme Court that is headed in a very different direction. Justices Alito and Neil Gorsuch were the lone bright spots. They were the only ones who asked probing questions of both sides and seemed to care more about protecting the rights of ordinary Americans than unnamed federal bureaucrats.................

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