Madison, Wisconsin — Rick Hasen is an election law scholar, commentator and Democrat operative.
It's the last two parts of his CV that has thrust the poor man into la-la land.
Hasen has joined the liberal-Democrat chorus of voices insisting that Donald Trump must be censored, deplatformed, and stopped from writing on social media because Trump's emissions are a "grave threat to American democracy" that likely will remain.
Instead of using the government to stop thought, Hasen wants to privatize repression of unpopular writing using the Tech Giants.
#ELB: My New Paper: “Donald Trump Should Remain Deplatformed from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube Despite the High Bar That Platforms Should Apply to the Question of Deplatforming Political Figures” https://t.co/4e1Qw5bcnJ— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) October 10, 2022
One thing about censors like Hasen is the spectacular narcissism and self-regard proclaiming Rick Hasen is fit to
sift and winnow Trump's social media content with no threat that Hasen will be filled with hate or driven to violence, while others are not equipped with Hasen's powers of discernment.
Aaron Sorkin bellowed the same clarion call for censorship of Trump three years ago with the same lack of self awareness.
Censors such as every Democrat and Hasen who advocate for authoritative selection of published views believe only they are immune from the corruption of unorthodox thoughts from a lunatic such as Trump. The American people cannot be trusted with exposure.
Time for another lesson on the need for the First Amendment, while there's still time.
From Justice William Brennan in New York Times v. Sullivan (1964):
The First Amendment, said Judge Learned Hand,Hasen ought consider the foundations of Sullivan today, because free speech protections may not be around forever.
presupposes that right conclusions are more likely to be gathered out of a multitude of tongues than through any kind of authoritative selection. To many, this is, and always will be, folly, but we have staked upon it our all. United States v. Associated Press, 52 F.Supp. 362, 372 (D.C.S.D.N.Y. 1943).Mr. Justice Brandeis, in his concurring opinion in Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 375-376, gave the principle its classic formulation:
Those who won our independence believed . . . that public discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. ... Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law -- the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed.Thus, we consider this case [New York Times v. Sullivan] against the background of a profound national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials. (New York Times v. Sullivan).
Social media, though it lives in private quasi utilities, well serves our national commitment to the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited.
There is another case, with another classic formulation, that Rick Hasen should give a once-over: Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969).
That whole imminent lawless action test as it applies to politcal speech. Give it read, couldn't hurt.