Saturday, April 13, 2024

First Amendment Legal Expert Floyd Abrams on Trump’s Chilling Executive Order Designed to Kill Free Speech


Floyd Abrams is one of the country’s leading legal experts on the First Amendment. He’s also the father of journalist Dan Abrams. Floyd spoke today on Dan’s SiriusXM radio show regarding Donald Trump’s new Executive Order designed to kill free speech.

Trump is incensed by Twitter fact checking his inane, crazy and dangerous Tweets regarding mail-in ballots for voting. Trump is trying to scare his followers into believing that mailed ballots aren’t safe and will be tampered with. This isn’t true, of course, but Trump’s sadly illiterate and easily impressionable base can be told almost anything– including the sky is falling– and they’d believe it.

Trump’s Executive Order is only about him, and his petty differences with Twitter. But it threatens the First Amendment, which he’s never read.

Says Floyd Abrams:

“The First Amendment issue is: can you shut up the social media entities when they engage in what they view as fact-checking? And I don’t think you can. I’m confident that that would violate the First Amendment. And, at the end of the day, that’s what this is all about. No matter what the results are of any internal studies. What is sought here by the president, what is sought here by the drafters of the executive order, is a limitation on speech. And that’s what the First Amendment does not allow.”

Of course, a lot of this has to do with Trump trying to distract his base from the fact that over 100,000 people have died from corona virus, and he let it happen. Or caused it by his inaction and his easily seen clips of denying that corona virus would do any harm. The death toll rises, the new cases rise, in places where Trump voters could be mortally affected, and he wants to point the finger at anyone else.

Nevertheless, Abrams said he doesn’t think Trump can get away with it.

Abrams said: “At the end of the day, I’m confident, maybe wrong, but I’m confident that the administration will not be able to prevent Twitter and its competitors from putting in their own ultimate, for themselves, judgment that something the president–or anyone else–says online is inconsistent with the truth.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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