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I Do Not Trust This Supreme Court…

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I am not nearly as confident as Ben Thompson is here. Right now we have 5 Supreme Court justices who are partisans first, Republicans second, Americans not at all, and judges to a negative degree. I have no idea what they will do should Trump’s “executive order “wind up in front of them. The Supreme Court might rule 9-0 against Trump. It might write a 5-4 “non-precedental” upholding on whatever very narrow ground it can find for the particular case brought. It might go all in for Trump, 5-4: Ben Thompson: Trump’s Executive Order, Section 230 In Court, Public Forums https://stratechery.com/2020/trumps-executive-order-section-230-in-court-public-forums: ‘The problem is with the summary of subsection 230(c)(2)(A).... The part that the executive order is missing: "obscene, lewd,

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I am not nearly as confident as Ben Thompson is here. Right now we have 5 Supreme Court justices who are partisans first, Republicans second, Americans not at all, and judges to a negative degree. I have no idea what they will do should Trump’s “executive order “wind up in front of them. The Supreme Court might rule 9-0 against Trump. It might write a 5-4 “non-precedental” upholding on whatever very narrow ground it can find for the particular case brought. It might go all in for Trump, 5-4:

Ben Thompson: Trump’s Executive Order, Section 230 In Court, Public Forums https://stratechery.com/2020/trumps-executive-order-section-230-in-court-public-forums: ‘The problem is with the summary of subsection 230(c)(2)(A).... The part that the executive order is missing: "obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected". That’s a pretty important clause!.... Congress clearly enacted § 230 to forbid the imposition of publisher liability on a service provider for the exercise of its editorial and self-regulatory functions.... The imposition of tort liability on service providers for the communications of others represented, for Congress, simply another form of intrusive government regulation of speech. Section 230 was enacted, in part, to maintain the robust nature of Internet communication and, accordingly, to keep government interference in the medium to a minimum...

...The... applicable... case... is Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck... explicit that, except for extremely limited cases, private corporations were not state actors, and thus not beholden to the First Amendment, even in cases where they were fulfilling government functions like running public access television channels.... To be honest, there is a part of me that hopes Trump signs this order. The arguments I have gone through, particularly Section 230, are increasingly widespread, and it would be gratifying to see them soundly refuted in court, as I am confident they would be…

#noted #2020-06-04
Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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