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The huge implications of 1st Amendment ruling against Trump blocking on Twitter

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The huge implications of 1st Amendment ruling against Trump blocking on Twitter

It’s barely a blip on most pundits’ radar. But there are tremendously important implications of a ruling today that the President cannot block users on Twitter. And the White House argument that it’s his “personal” Twitter account combined with the court ruling means a lot to many more politicians.

But before we get into why, here’s a recap from Fox News:

Appeals court rules Trump violated First Amendment by blocking Twitter users

In a Tuesday decision, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals noted that because Trump uses Twitter to communicate with the public about his administration, and his account is open to the public for people to comment on his posts, it warrants constitutional free speech protection under the First Amendment.

“We do conclude,” the opinion said, “that the First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise‐open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees.”

Opinion

The reason this is a big deal is because it positions Twitter as a public platform for political information when used by government officials for official business… which can be just about anything. Unless allthey do is post pictures of their kids and root for their favorite sports team, it’s hard to make an argument that it’s not a public forum protected by the 1st Amendment. Though the White House claims it’s his “personal” account, there have been many instances in which the President has posted official decisions through Twitter. Sometimes, the first time his own team hears about a new policy is through his Twitter account.

This should apply to every government official, elected or not. Even bureaucrats who post a political opinion must be included in this since they are part of government and suppression of speech must be protected. When a public official blocks someone, they are preventing that American from having the same access to communicate with government officials as anyone not blocked.

But there’s another important implication here. If Twitter users are protected by the 1st Amendment from being blocked by the President and presumably other public officials, what other 1st Amendment protections should apply? Many Twitter users utilize Twitter as a means of public expression for their thoughts. One would think that as long as it’s given platform protection under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, then the only speech that should be censored in any way on Twitter is speech that breaks specific laws. Saying something unpopular like “boys are boys and girls or girls” or “learn to code” would therefore be allowable.

Personally, I’ve gone back and forth on this issue. On one hand, I am well aware that big tech companies are purging, censoring, and silencing conservatives and Christians and must be stopped. On the other hand, I am eternally skeptical of government involvement in, well, anything. I didn’t see an angle in which this could be turned into a 1st Amendment issue even with big tech companies having platform protection because they’re still private companies and the government isn’t  involved.

Except now, they are. The angle is apparent.

If politicians are using this as a public forum in the eyes of the judiciary, then private citizens have an avenue they can take to protect their own speech. Again, it’s imperative that we do not allow DC to regulate social media platforms, which was always my greater fear than social media censorship. But with this development, perhaps we can have our cake (freedom on social media) and eat it to (1st Amendment protections without getting legislation or regulations involved).

This really could be a very good thing even if the White House is opposed.

Quote

“The irony in all of this is that we write at a time in the history of this nation when the conduct of our government and its officials is subject to wide‐open, robust debate.” – Second Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling

Final Thoughts

It isn’t just the President’s Twitter account that will be affected by this ruling. At the very least, other politicians will be forced to comply. In a best-case-scenario, free speech may end up being protected on these platforms for all of us.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Guns and Crime

How the FISA Report will further dampen the Mueller Report

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How the FISA Report will further dampen the Mueller Report

The hopes and dreams of Democrats around the country were systematically shattered over the last few months as the Mueller investigation into Russian hacking of the 2016 election yielded very little fruit. That hasn’t stopped the House Democrats from fishing for more information than the two-year investigation produced in hopes of hanging President Trump with an impeachment.

But the initial draft of the Department of Justice’s inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report has been given to the Attorney General for classification and markup, meaning the public will soon have access to the sordid details surrounding the Steele Dossier and other measures used to secure FISA warrants against the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, former Deputy Attorney General Andrew McCabe has been recommended for charges after allegedly lying about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation around the same time period. And there’s still the U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into illegal spying on the Trump campaign. All of this combines for a very rocky road ahead for Democrats and former DoJ personnel who may be held accountable for a fruitless investigation trumped up by false claims and shoddy sourcing.

It seems very likely the various “investigations of the investigators” will cause controversy at the very least while possibly leading to charges against multiple people. The seemingly coordinated effort to subvert the Trump campaign and to counter his victory in the then-unlikely scenario in which he wins jibes with the incessant pushing of the collusion narrative by Democrats and mainstream media. It wasn’t that they had anything of substance. They hopes what they had would have substance that would manifest in the Mueller report.

But now the Mueller investigation itself is in jeopardy of losing any remnants of credibility it still has as the premise behind it is being challenged by Attorney General William Barr and the various investigations he has commissioned. Horowitz’s report is the biggest so far, but may only be the tip of the iceberg compared to what Durham may find.

With all of the arrows pointing to foul play by Obama’s DoJ and the Mueller investigation, these reports are likely to unravel all hopes the Democrats have of stopping President Trump before the 2020 election. After he wins, their dreams will be quashed.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Guns and Crime

If you think you support red flag gun laws, listen to Jim Jordan talking about them

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If you think you support red flag gun laws listen to Jim Jordan talking about them

Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee are pushing through HR1236, the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019, that will impose red flag gun laws across the nation. The gun control legislation is being heralded by most on the left and some on the right who see it as a way of stopping mass shootings before they happen.

But conservatives are pushing back against the law as subversion of gun rights, property rights, and due process rights. One of those leading the charge to stop this bill from making it through the House is Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH). In a passionate speech within the committee, Jordan lambasted his colleagues for betraying their oath to the Constitution and for upending what the House Judiciary Committee was intended to do in protecting the Bill of Rights.

“What other constitutional right can you lose without doing anything wrong and without your knowledge, and have to petition the court to get it back?” Jordan asked.

Red flag gun laws such as HR1236 would allow various people to petition the court to have law enforcement remove firearms from people they believe to be a threat to themselves or others. It has gained in popularity following several mass shootings this summer, though none of them seem to have been preventable if such laws were in place. As Jordan points out, the language of the bill makes it to where anyone who has lived with the accused in the last year, from an ex-girlfriend to a disgruntled roommate, can have the court remove firearms without the victim even knowing the process is happening.

In other words, accusers get the power to paint someone as guilty without due process, at which point they must then prove to the court they’re innocent. This isn’t how America is supposed to work.

Law abiding citizens can be targeted for confiscation without doing anything wrong under red flag gun laws. This is unconstitutional, unAmerican, and moves us closer to the authoritarian state the left wants for all of us.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Immigration

Supreme victory! Top court backs Trump’s asylum rules change for now

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Supreme victory Top court backs Trumps asylum rules change for now

The fight to slow the flow of asylum-seeking migrants (and the criminal illegal aliens who often hide in their midst) gained access to a much-needed rules change Wednesday as the Supreme Court ruled against an injunction placed on the President’s asylum policy. With only two dissenters, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayer, this opens the door for the rule to be applied across the nation.

This is temporary, for now. Lifting the injunction does not make the rule permanent. It only allows the rule to stand while the court hears the whole case against it.

With this rule, asylum seekers can be denied instantly if they did not apply for asylum in the countries through which they traveled to get to the United States. This means nearly everyone from Central America, Africa, or anywhere else who went through Mexico to get to the United States can be denied asylum on the spot if they cannot demonstrate they first applied for asylum in Mexico and were denied.

Mexicans seeking asylum will not be affected by this rule.

The goal of the rule is to close the gap between initial screenings and hearings. Without the rule, the vast majority of those seeking asylum are granted access to a subsequent hearing. But most do not show up for this hearing and those who do are regularly denied because they are mostly economic migrants. Poverty is not a valid reason for granting asylum under U.S. and most international laws.

Asylum-seekers are using the old initial screening rules as a loophole that gets them released into the interior where the vast majority are never seen by the government again unless they’re caught committing other crimes. When they fail to show up for their asylum hearings, a removal order is almost always applied. Rather than playing cat and mouse with hundreds of thousands of migrants, this new rule allows the administration to stop them before they’re released to the interior.

The executive branch is granted broad powers over immigration by the Constitution. Unless the White House fails to make a solid case or a moderate Justice like John Roberts or Brett Kavanaugh decides to go against the President, this rule is likely to be made permanent.

With less hope of gaining access to the interior, this rule is very likely to dissuade many asylum-seekers from making the long journey to the United States border. We can expect border crossing apprehensions to drop in the coming months.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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