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.”