Philip Hamburger’s proposals in The Wall Street Journal op-ed, America Needs a New Civil Rights Act, give Biden more power to coerce social media businesses into advocating or removing content by stripping away First Amendment rights. Aside from mischaracterizing the holding in our lawsuit against the state of Texas—where we’re trying to stop Texas’s government-compelled speech—Mr. Hamburger twists himself in knots to justify overriding the First Amendment.
It’s absurd to watch fellow conservatives advocate for “protecting free speech” by actively undermining our constitutional rights. Mr. Hamburger almost gets the issue right. He begins by establishing the problem of government intrusion into private companies and the speech of private citizens. Instead of fixing that problem, however, Mr. Hamburger would make it worse. Giving government more power over speech is not the answer.
Indeed, if Mr. Hamburger genuinely worries about coercion of social media by the government as we also do, there is legislation in Congress from Reps. Jim Jordan and Cathy McMorris Rodgers to expressly prohibit such actions.