Freedom of Speech is Too Dangerous


What Justice Jackson said to raise eyebrows was “Your view has the First Amendment hamstringing the federal government in significant ways in the most important time periods.”

Correct! One clear goal of the First Amendment is to hamstring the federal government from doing what it would like to do: control our speech. I would have expected a Supreme Court justice to have learned this in law school, not in on-the-job training.

Justice Jackson went on to say, “The government actually has a duty to take steps to protect the citizens of this country . . . by encouraging or even pressuring platforms to take down harmful information,” she said.

There’s always a euphemism handy for “information the government doesn’t want you to know,” e.g., “misinformation” “disinformation,” “harmful information,” etc. We can’t have freedom of speech! It’s too dangerous!

As a thought experiment, if you had to select one person to decide what you can or can’t read, who would that person be? They also get to decide, regarding information transmitted audibly, what you can or can’t hear. Any information this person deems to be inaccurate or harmful or dangerous will be inaccessible to you.

Do you trust anyone that much? I don’t.

That’s what the First Amendment says (among other things), that the federal government is not to be trusted to censor information or control the speech of the citizens.

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