Jackson Criticized Over Comments Surrounding Government’s Alleged Censorship Efforts

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recently faced backlash over comments she made while debating the Biden administration’s alleged collusion with Big Tech to censor certain viewpoints.

The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing a case stemming from a lawsuit filed by Missouri and Louisiana accusing the federal government of coordinating with prominent social media companies “under the guise of combating misinformation.”

This, the plaintiffs argue, led to online censorship, including the discussion of Hunter Biden’s laptop, COVID-19 and the efficacy of face masks.

Given the blatant deplatforming of conservatives online, the lawsuit accuses the federal government of violating Americans’ First Amendment rights.

In about two hours of debate, the justices deliberated whether the Biden administration overstepped its constitutional authority and whether it worked with private companies to censor dissent.

“It’s got these big clubs available to it, and so it’s treating Facebook and these other platforms like their subordinates,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito said.
Unlike Alito, Jackson took a different approach.

“Your view has the First Amendment hamstringing the federal government in significant ways in the most important time periods,” Jackson told the lawyer representing Missouri and Louisiana. “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.”

Jackson’s comments unleashed a whirlwind of criticism from lawyers and online figures.
Constitutional attorney John Shu claimed Jackson’s remarks were irrelevant to the premise of the case.

Shu pointed out that the First Amendment “prevents government officials from coercing, whether explicitly or implicitly, publishers to remove posts or articles because the government disagrees with or doesn’t like that viewpoint, even if it is under the guise of ‘national security’ or ‘public health.’”

On X, formerly known as Twitter, conservative commentator Matt Walsh said that the First Amendment intends to prevent the federal government from censoring Americans.
Citing Jackson’s comments, saying the law is “hamstringing the government,” Walsh wrote, “That is the entire point of the First Amendment.”

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey told Fox News that Jackson was “absolutely right” to say that the First Amendment restricts the government.

“It is hamstringing, and it’s supposed to. The whole purpose of the Constitution is to protect us from the government, and the government exists to protect our rights,” Bailey told the outlet.