Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Lets True Thoughts on First Amendment Slip: An Obstacle ‘Hamstringing the Government’

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson Lets True Thoughts on First Amendment Slip: An Obstacle ‘Hamstringing the Government’

The First Amendment was written to protect religion, assembly, speech, the press and the right to petition. It forbids Congress from promoting or interfering with freedom of speech.

Many of our freedoms are built on what the First Amendment guarantees. It’s often seen as one of the most important amendments to keep our government in check.

The newest justice on the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown Jackson, is the exact reason our founding fathers designated that amendment number one. A Biden appointee, she joined her colleagues on Monday to hear oral arguments regarding the influence the government should have on social media platforms and their parent companies regarding private speech posted by Americans to those platforms.

In other words, should the government have the right to mention, encourage, insist or interact at all with social media companies like Facebook, X, and others regarding posts that the government feels could place the public in harms way? Or does the First Amendment prohibit any action by the government from occurring?

During the proceedings, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson questioned Louisiana Solicitor General Benjamin Aguinaga.

“My biggest concern is that your view has the First Amendment hamstringing the government in significant ways, in the most important time periods,” Jackson began. First of all, who is deciding what constitutes “the most important time periods”? And if the government gets that right, what is to keep it from declaring anything “important” in  the name of censorship?

“What would you have the government do?” Jackson asked Aguinaga, her words making it seem as if freedom of speech is only as free as the government decides it to be.

“I’ve heard you say a couple times that the government can post its own speech,” Jackson said, but she didn’t seem to think that went far enough.

“Some might say that the government actually has a duty to take steps to protect the citizens of this country,” she continued. “And you seem to be suggesting that that duty cannot manifest itself in the government encouraging or even pressuring platforms to take down harmful information.”

“I’m really worried about that because you’ve got the First Amendment operating in an environment of threatening circumstances from the government’s perspective, and you’re saying that the government can’t interact with the source of those problems,” she concluded.

That’s exactly right. That’s the First Amendment in a nutshell. Freedom of speech isn’t circumstantial based. There are plenty of countries where it is, but they don’t operate under the United States Constitution.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson undoubtedly needs to return to law school.

Shouldn’t a Supreme Court justice realize the importance of the First Amendment? Seems imperative to do her job, if you ask me.

When Aguinaga was asked by Justice Brett Kavanaugh about social media platforms turning a deaf ear to the government in certain cases, Aguinaga replied that that didn’t matter, according to USA Today. He said that is still constituted “improper pressure” under his purist view of the First Amendment.

Aguinaga reminded the entire Supreme Court that the government couldn’t just run amuck, pressuring social media companies to censor American’s free speech on these platforms. In other words, Biden can’t badger Musk to pull down posts he doesn’t like, and three letter agencies can’t tell Zuckerburg to make certain posts explode over others.

It is an election year, isn’t it? Whatever will the Democrats do?


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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