“Legal analysts” don’t like the preliminary injunction issued by a Federal district court judge that bars much of the Federal government and many of the individuals in it from telling, or even merely attempting to pressure, social media entities what those entities must permit and must bar from their Web sites.
Legal analysts on both CNN and MSNBC attacked a federal judge who found that the White House likely violated the First Amendment by claiming that his decision was an “activist judicial opinion” that “goes too far.”
CNN legal analyst Ellie Honig:
Yes, it’s a dramatic decision by this judge, if you read through it. He’s citing to literature and George Washington, and Ben Franklin. Here’s what really is astonishing to me. This is a conservative ideology that clearly comes through in this decision. … But the ruling itself is the opposite of judicial conservativism. This is one of the most aggressive, far-reaching rulings you’ll ever see.
Because upholding our individual free speech rights, adhering to the supreme Law of the Land, isn’t at all judicial conservatism.
And on MSNBC, Tulane University Professor Walter Isaacson:
I think Judge Doughty’s decision goes too far.
I think this is a little bit of a corrective but I clearly feel that in the end the decision will be refined somewhat, because government has to have the right to have its own free speech to push back when they see things on social media they think are dangerous[.]
It would have been good had Isaacson actually read the ruling. There is nothing at all in it that bars the government from push[ing] back when they see things on social media they think are dangerous. Quite the opposite:
The Court finds…that a preliminary injunction here would not prohibit government speech.
And [emphasis mine]
A government entity has the right to speak for itself and is entitled to say what it wishes and express the views it wishes to express. The Free Speech Clause restricts government regulation of private speech; it does not regulate government speech.
And the government—the men and women who populate and animate government—have a plethora of outlets of their own:
the White House, for instance, the Senate, and the House all have their own Web sites, as do each of the several Federal Departments and agencies, and every Congressman in the Congress. And many of those Congressmen hold aperiodic town halls to talk directly with their constituents—all of them should, and those meetings should occur more frequently—but that’s the Congressmen’s choice. Nothing bars any Congressman from doing any of those direct-to-constituents conversations as often as a Congressman might wish.
And that doesn’t approach the interviews and op-eds each of those men and women are free to give and to write, along with the posts on the social media they tried to, and are now barred from, controlling.
This is how far Left the press is gone, that journalists actually think judges, and Justices, come to that, who adhere to the text of our Constitution as that Constitution and their oaths of office require, are “activist” while Justices, and judges, who rule in accordance with their personal views (or the press’) of societal circumstance are somehow…normal…and acting properly.