Journalist Glenn Greenwald is sounding the alarm about the growing willingness of lawmakers to ignore constitutional bars prohibiting the Federal government from suppressing free speech.
House Democrats have called CEOs of Google, Facebook, and Twitter to a 25 March hearing to pressure them to further censor speech on their platforms. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) said the hearings would delve into “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.”
Pallone and several colleagues leading the hearing assert “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety.”
But the Federal government is breaking Constitutional law by calling for censorship according to Greenwald, who worked as a corporate lawyer before founding his civil rights and constitutional law firm in the 1990s.
“Congress violates the First Amendment when it attempts to require private companies to impose viewpoint-based speech restrictions which the government itself would be constitutionally barred from imposing,” said Greenwald. He noted that Ben Wizner, Director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, has said it is well-established that the First Amendment governs attempts by Congress to pressure private companies to censor.
Meanwhile, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Jed Rubenfeld of Yale Law School warned in a January Wall Street Journal Op-Ed that “Using a combination of statutory inducements and regulatory threats, the Congress has co-opted Silicon Valley to do through the back door what the government cannot directly accomplish under the Constitution.”

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