Some Thoughts

Donald Trump Jr has posted some ideas for maintaining/protecting the freedom of speech of us American citizens that his father, former President Donald Trump (R) has for 2024. He’s on the right track….

I have some thoughts on some of them.

Regarding Section 230: Social media—Twitter, Facebook, Alphabet—have made themselves into the public square, and with their collusion with the Federal government to censor speech, they’ve made themselves arms of that same Federal government. That’s two ways, each of which alone is determinative, in which social media have demonstrated their lack of need and forfeited their “right” to protection under Section 230.

Courts and State-Controlled Federal Elections

In Moore v Harper, the Supreme Court is being called on to decide whether State courts can rearrange State elections laws—in particular, write their own Congressional district maps—as these pertain to how a State runs Federal-level elections.

It shouldn’t even be a question. Our Constitution is quite clear on the matter of who is responsible for setting the rules for Federal elections. Here’s Article I, Section 4:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof….

An Excellent Response

Last Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for 303 Creative LLC v Elenis, a case centered on Web Page designer Lorie Smith and her First Amendment right to not put messages on her designs that conflict with her religious beliefs.

In the course of those arguments, there occurred this exchange (audio is at the first link above) between newly confirmed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson and Kristen Kellie Waggoner, CEO, President, and General Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing Smith in this case:

Works for Me

Senator Chris Murphy (D, CT) has his gun control panties all knotted up because lots of county sheriffs have said they won’t enforce intrinsically unconstitutional gun control laws.

I think we have to have a conversation about whether we can continue to fund law enforcement in states where they are refusing to implement these gun laws[.]

I’ve addressed whether local and county jurisdictions should accept State funding for this or that purpose or whether they, instead, should decline the funds and free themselves from higher government’s controlling strings.

At the national level, Murphy’s terms are acceptable.

But What is the Or Else?

President Joe Biden (D) is right, this time, and so are Congressional politicians (assuming they actually can get anything done on this), to move to block the coming railroad strike.

But. But, but, but.

What is the or else here? What enforcement mechanism can the government use to enforce its no-strike diktat against the railroad workers? Not against the unions, but against the rail workers?

It isn’t union leadership, after all, who have rejected the just-negotiated agreements, it’s the rank-and-file, the folks who actually do the work, who’ve rejected the agreement.

In Which a Judge Gets It (Mostly) Right

Judge Reed O’Connor of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled at the end of the summer that the Obamacare requirement that health coverage providers must provide coverage for particular aspects of health care—and do so at no cost to the individual being covered—was unconstitutional. He’s currently considering whether to make his ruling permanent and if so, whether to make his ruling applicable only to the litigants in the particular case or to make it nationwide. (As an aside, I have trouble seeing how a ruling of unconstitutionality can have any range less than national.)

Whose Choice Is It?

And whose property is it?

A new law being seriously considered by lawmakers in New York City could strip landlords of the ability to perform criminal background checks on prospective tenants.

Because landlords shouldn’t be able to control who rents their property, shouldn’t be able to protect the interests of their existing tenants—who have, by dint of their rent agreements, have some property of their own in the landlord’s buildings.

This law means it’s city government property; landlords possess the buildings only in fee from the city lords.

Republican Councilwoman Inna Vernikov has the right of it:

A Deliberate Move by the Progressive-Democratic Party

…against American citizenship and American citizens.

The Progressive-Democratic Party-backed Washington, DC, city council voted 12-1 (!) to allow anyone resident in the city for at least 30 days to vote in city elections. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) didn’t have the courage to take an open position, one way or the other, on the bill; she allowed it to become the law of the city by simply not signing it. The new city law is so broadly written that illegal aliens and foreign college students would be able to vote, and

Any Excuse

to extend an “emergency” in order to continue Government’s expanded powers and reduced individual liberties, an expansion that depends on that continued emergency. Here’s the Children’s Hospital Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics in a letter to President Joe Biden (D) and HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra (D):

…unprecedented levels of RSV happening with growing flu rates, ongoing high numbers of children in mental health crisis and serious workforce shortages are combining to stretch pediatric care capacity at the hospital and community level to the breaking point[.]

Your ongoing response to COVID-19 has successfully supported strategies to mitigate the impact of health care capacity issues for adult patients. Please take this action to allow these same strategies to be employed in service of our nation’s children.

Censorship

Elon Musk is, among other things with Twitter, taking steps to reduce or eliminate “accounts” that impersonate real persons without attribution.

[Musk] said Sunday that impersonating accounts will be permanently suspended unless they are specified as parody.

And yet, there are those on the Left who object to honesty in tweeting.

Jessie Hill, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, said Monday that by banning accounts that make fun of him, Mr Musk could have a chilling effect on speech on Twitter.