[U] Trump’s Executive Order Is… Meaningless. Unenforceable. And… Bonus! Un-American.

Updated: The purported EO is out. And, here late on the 28th, a right wing commenter (I’ll not name) has offered some pretty stupid observations (from the perspective of any comprehension of the applicable law, here). He doesn’t seem to understand that the FCC’s charter was granted by an Act of Congress; it is tightly constrained, both by that act, and the first amendment. More to the point, he seems blithely unaware that this “EO” — purporting to rewrite Congress’s definitions of what is covered by the FCC’s jurisdiction. . . is plainly beyond the reach of 45’s tiny. . . hands, as a matter of constitutional law.

This frothy right winger intones, insipidly, thus “if Twitter wants to be a far-left platform, it has that right. But if that is the path it has chosen, it can’t expect to be granted the same legal immunity that federal law extends to ISPs that have nothing to do with the content of the web sites that they host. . . .” Um. No. . . Just. Nope.

Literally every clause of those two sentences… gets the facts all wrong; and mis-states both the ordinary law, and the constitution’s commands. Amendment, first protects Twitter and all others from state actors — like Trump and the FCC, absent a very specific grant from Congress (tested and refined by countless US Supreme Court cases, over sixty years, now). This [“airwaves regulation“] is an area where governments have very tightly proscribed boundaries — as to public speech, on matters of substantial concern. No such regulating grant, from the Congress, exists. . . to move against private parties (like Twitter) that foster speech.

The original animating Congressional concern (which created the FCC) was that “broadcasts, over airwaves” were by their very nature. . . monopolistic. Only three channels existed, and in some sense they were public goods. Not so a Twitter platform: no “broadcast” — unlimited fora; and literally ANYONE may “publish” there. In sum, the predicate for Congressional regulation… is wholly-absent, from the social networks. And that is in the face of an express constitutional command that “Congress shall make no law. . . restricting the freedom of speech.” [End, sermon. Trump loses. . . and his own EO means he personally will be subject to a myriad of new lawsuits, for his own false statements. Hilarious.] End, update.

Whenever He finally put the supposed EO out, and it is it will be. . . DOA. Of that you may be certain.

If the FCC decides to rule-make (in supplication to Trump), it is likely beyond the charter Congress granted the agency. It will fail, in the courts, predicts Condor.

Me? I’ve long thought of Twitter [and internet interactions, more generally] as Georg Christoph Lichtenberg has famously said of books, as mirrors — of our souls: “If an ass peers into one, we ought not expect. . . an apostle will peer back out at [us/her/him]. . . .” See at right. Here’s the latest, and a bit, from Jack, defending an individual employee that Trump singled out by name, in a Tweet — for derision:

. . . .Dorsey tweeted Wednesday night that “there is someone ultimately accountable for our actions as a company, and that’s me. Please leave our employees out of this. . . .”

Indeed. Onward, grinning. . . the graphic is in specific response to another moron — who is ignorant of how our system of self-governance really works, and is today claiming (falsely) that George Soros is “paying outside agitators” to drive to Minneapolis, and burn and loot that city. Rubbish. Now you are on blast, Ms. Owens-Farmer. Ditch the antisemitism.


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