The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a lower court ruling that former President Donald Trump violated the First Amendment rights of critics he blocked on Twitter.
Lawyers for those Trump blocked on Twitter argued that the former president's Twitter account functioned as an official source of information about the government, leading a federal appeals court to rule that Trump's blocking amounted to illegally silencing their viewpoints.
But Trump is no longer in office, and Twitter has permanently banned him from its platform over glorifying violence. So the lower court's ruling from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should be tossed, the Supreme Court ruled, instructing the court to dismiss the case as "moot," or no longer active.
While the case can no longer be cited as precedent, other courts have held that an elected official's social media accounts can be treated as public forums. And so the dismissal "is unlikely to affect the development of the law," said Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which sued Trump over his blocking of critics.
"I think public officials are and should be on notice that if they block people from their social media accounts on the basis of viewpoint, they are violating the First Amendment," Jaffer told NPR.
The decision from the high court did not surprise court watchers, but a concurrence in the ruling from Justice Clarence Thomas has drawn intense attention in technology circles.
In it, Thomas took broad aim at social media networks, attacking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the landmark law that protects technology companies from lawsuits and also provides platforms wide latitude in patrolling speech on their sites.
To Thomas, Twitter's ban of Trump exposed the potential abuses of this legal protection, noting how "applying old doctrines to new digital platforms is rarely straightforward."
Thomas went on: "As Twitter made clear, the right to cut off speech lies most powerfully in the hands of private digital platforms. The extent to which that power matters for purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which that power could lawfully be modified raise interesting and important questions," Thomas wrote.
Big Tech companies Facebook and Google, Thomas pointed out, have vast and largely unchecked control over online marketplaces.
That is from Bobby Allyn's report for NPR.
I will praise Justice Thomas for the opinion he offered and I hope others will be willing to expand on this -- others would include members of Congress who need to address this seriously.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Oh look, another idiot who never can be bothered with what's going on in Iraq is treating the Iraq War like a football to play another round of xenophobic partisan superbowl.
In yesterday's snapshot, we noted CNN's nonsense regarding Senator Josh Hawley and his college stance on the Iraq War. ALTERNET is and always will be garbage. They don't just steal the writing of others and post it, they also condoned staff harassing a young teenage boy. It was the latter issue that led me to insist to them that they delink from us (we had been on a list of blogs that their site linked to, a blogroll or something). So it's no surprise that they would worm their way into this discussion. One of their bad 'articles' is reposted by SALON. Meaghan Ellis types:
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., may be critical of the Biden administration nominees' support of the Iraq War, but a newly-uncovered blog post shows that at one point he too supported the same war he is now opposing.
According to CNN,
She has nothing to offer on her own. She's just retpying what CNN already offered -- and that was bad on their bad part.
If sweet, stupid Meaghan can jump down from her high horse, could she note for a moment the crackdown on LGBTQs in Iraq? Oh wait, that would require actual work. She can't note anything because she doesn't care enough about the ongoing Iraq War -- or the Iraqi people who continue to suffer -- in order to ever write about the topic.
But she wants to bash Hawley over the head for supporting the Iraq War. In 2005. When he was in college.
When Hunted Biden's many problems started breaking in the news in 2019, the media tried to cover for him repeatedly with them forever insisting it was youthful indiscretions. He was 49 years old at the time -- and his daddy still called him "baby." Now it's time to have a fit over a college kid's opinion from 16 years ago?
As we noted in yesterday's snapshot:
Again, Hawley's view was not my view. I was opposed to the Iraq War. But his view of support in 2005 is in keeping with the majority of Americans at that time.
Joe supported the Iraq War as did the bulk of his Cabinet -- many of them did so, like Joe, from positions of power. Meaghan's yet to write about that and, no doubt, never will. She's not a reporter. Check her past articles, she only writes to attack Republicans. She has no ethical stance, she has no interest or expertise in any topic. But when something's been posted elsewhere online at a US site that paints a Republican in a bad light, she grabs on to the work of others to play attack poodle. Someone please get her spayed. We can't afford her reproducing a littler of attack poodles.
Again, she has nothing to add to anything. No expertise, no "at a hearing a year ago . . .," no context, no analysis. But, hey, she typed it up, she can sleep easy that if her life wasn't wasted -- if her entire goal in life was to be a propaganda engine.
I don't have time for this garbage. Stop pretending you give a damn about how someone felt about Iraq in 2005 when you don't care enough to cover Iraq today -- and that goes for SALON which reposted the story.
Why are you being silent, Meaghan? Oh, that's right, you can't use the attacks on LGBTQ for partisan purposes. But keep pretending you give a damn about the Iraq War or the Iraqi people. Maybe you'll fool some people.
Dana Nawzar is a noted homophobe and is whining that Twitter restricted his account for several hours. He did nothing wrong, he insists, but tell the truth. No, he called the LGBTQ community pedophiles. More to the point, he's so stupid that he called them pedophiles and prostitutes. Prostitutes, please note Stupid Idiot Dana, are paid money to have sex with people. How many seven-year-olds does Stupid Idiot Dana think have enough moeny to pay for the services of a prostitute. Seems like someone's mistaken Melanie Griffith's MILK MONEY for a gritty documentary.
According to Al-Alam Al-Maqawim Network, the American convoys were targeted in the cities of Hillah and Jableh and the Al-Nile region on Wednesday.
The Qasim Al-Jabarin group has claimed responsibility for all three attacks.
But that's okay with Meaghan. She's not going to cover that. She's just going to pretend like she cares from atop her horsie named Hypocrite.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein will tackle security and economic co-operation on Wednesday in the first strategic dialogue between Baghdad and Washington since President Joe Biden entered office.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Kadhimi was the first Arab leader to receive a call from Mr Biden in February.
The dialogue, which will happen online because of Covid-19, was prompted by a request from Iraq to clarify critical issues in the relationship.
The White House said that trade, culture and climate are on the agenda, as well as security and the role of US forces in Iraq.
Perhaps more urgent for Iraq is discussing the US military role amid increasing attacks by pro-Iran militias on joint bases and in the Green Zone, home to the American embassy.
“The meetings will further clarify that coalition forces are in Iraq solely for the purpose of training and advising Iraqi forces to ensure that ISIS cannot reconstitute,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.
James Jeffrey, a former US ambassador to Iraq, told The National that Baghdad and Washington disagree on how to counter these militias, which are calling for US troops to be withdrawn.
The discussion will be about the continued presence of US troops on Iraqi soil. Despite the continued attacks targeting US troops. Despite the Iraqi people wanting the US -- and all foreign troops -- out of their country.
Meaghan Ellis, you going to tackle that issue any time soon? No?
How about that topic, Meaghan? Going to cover that anytime soon?
Probably not. You haven't covered the continued persecution of Julian Assange, have you?
Monday April 5, 2010, WIKILEAKS released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two REUTERS journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.
Meaghan going to cover that? Nope. Okay, keep pretending you do anything of value and keep using Iraq as your partisan football any weekend you decide you want to play. May you get the sports injury you deserve.
It's more important to Meaghan that she attacks someone over their opinion from years and years ago when they were in college. Why is that again? Oh, right -- Joe Biden.
Attack poodles have to work really hard to protect War Hawks. Maybe Meaghan will be out in your drive next, digging through your trash? Probably not. She'll just wait until CNN does and then rewrite CNN's work. She's not just a hypocrite, after all, she's also lazy.
The United States will engage in a "strategic dialogue" with Iraq this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week. The key agenda item, she explained, was the US combat deployment there.
How or whether to extend the operation should not be part of the discussion. Nailing down details of the withdrawal should.
The 3,500 US troops currently in Iraq serve no purpose related to American national security. They don't have a militarily attainable mission which could be recognized and signal the end of the deployment. The only benefactor is the government in Baghdad and even they are ready to show America the exit.
[. . .]
Whatever incremental security benefit may exist with US troops being deployed in Iraq and Syria, they are dwarfed by the strategic risk we incur every minute we remain on the ground there.
We are in a sea of civil conflict in Syria and in danger of semi-regular rocket attacks in Iraq. Our military presence cannot influence the political outcome in either country.
The best thing Biden can do for the security of the United States and to preserve the lives of our service members from unnecessary risk at the security dialogue with Baghdad is to withdraw our troops, in full, from both Iraq and Syria as soon as possible.
I'm known to do a favor or two for a friend. A friend at a music label asked me if I could please note the following video.
I don't know Chase Rice -- not an insult, I'm not an expert on country music. I do know Florida Georgia Line. The song is entitled "Drinkin' Beer. Talking God. Amen." It's a well written song -- melody and lyrics and Chase Rice wrote it with Hunter Phelps, Cale Dodds and Corey Crowder.
The following sites updated: