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TEXAS (LifeSiteNews) – A three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a Texas law barring political censorship from social media platforms may take effect while the argument over the law’s constitutionality works its way through the legal system.
Called “arguably the toughest and most significant restriction placed on Big Tech censorship passed by any state government” by Breitbart senior technology correspondent Allum Bokhari, HB20 treats social media platforms like “common carriers” of communication and transportation services in the United States, forbids viewpoint-based discrimination by those platforms, and empowers their users to seek injunctive relief for discriminatory actions such as bans or content removal.
NetChoice, an industry group representing numerous Big Tech giants, sued to block the law, and U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman agreed to place a temporary injunction on the law’s enforcement. The state of Texas appealed, and now the Fifth Circuit Panel has lifted the injunction, Fox News reports. The panel did not elaborate on its reasoning.
“These social media platforms control the modern-day public square, but they abusively suppress speech in that square,” Texas assistant solicitor general Ryan Baasch argued before the court.
It remains to be seen whether the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter will adapt to comply with the new law, or will attempt to continue resisting with another appeal. If they do comply, it will also remain to be seen whether changes are somehow confined to Texas users or, given the nature of global communication services, lead to more universal reforms.
In the aftermath of the leak of the Supreme Court majority opinion draft overruling Roe v. Wade, lawless vandals backed by the abortion lobby and pro-abortion politicians have launched riots and violent attacks on pro-life entities across America, from pregnancy centers to churches, and even targeted Justices' homes.
This widespread, organized effort not only sets a dangerous standard for how groups and individuals may opt to stage demonstrations going forward, but begs the question of how the pro-abortion crowd would behave if and when the Supreme Court officially overturns Roe later this summer.
And, worst of all, the White House has largely turned a blind eye to these riots, with Joe Biden -- who at one time claimed to be personally opposed to abortion due to his Catholic faith -- now acting as the foremost advocate for unfettered abortion access in America.
Biden's nonexistent response must be addressed, and the White House needs to know that the American people demand better from their supposed "leader."
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition calling on Joe Biden to stop beating around the bush and finally issue a formal statement condemning the violent riots and attacks on pro-life institutions across our country in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court majority opinion draft overturning Roe v. Wade.
Over Mother's Day weekend, pro-abortion attacks broke out across America, with increasingly depraved activists targeting pregnancy centers, pro-life advocacy organizations, and churches with either disruptive demonstrations or, in some cases, vandalism and outright violence.
Among the most barbaric occurrences was the vicious attack on Wisconsin Family Action, a pro-life group headquartered in Madison, where vandals threw a Molotov cocktail into an office window, started a fire on one of its walls, and left a threatening graffiti message reading "If abortions aren't safe then you aren't either."
Review a FULL LIST of other appalling attacks HERE.
They even descended upon the homes of Supreme Court Justices like Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Chief Justice John Roberts, who appear poised to formally issue the final blow to Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks, after publishing a map with their private addresses.
The case, which was decided nearly 50 years ago in 1973, saw members of the bench fabricate a constitutional "right" to abortion, depriving individual states from crafting their own laws to protect life. However, should Roe, as expected, be overturned, the matter of abortion would be returned to the states, where it always belonged, giving lawmakers the ability to propose legislation that would either place strong restrictions on the procedure or, in some cases, ban it outright.
And while, of course, freedom of speech must be protected and defended for all Americans, demonstrations that devolve into vandalism, rioting, the use of intimidation tactics against members of the judiciary (or anyone else, for that matter), or violence in any form must NEVER be tolerated.
But the White House seems to be taking a different approach...
It wasn't until Monday afternoon that Press Secretary Jen Psaki finally acknowledged the threat posed to Supreme Court Justices by out-of-control pro-abotion activists, claiming that "judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety."
This is true, but it took Psaki an entire week to make any semblance of a definitive statement about the White House's position on this urgent matter. In fact, Psaki previously refused to discourage the targeting of Justices' homes when asked, insisting that pro-abortion groups were staging "peaceful protests" instead; she even failed to condemn the leak itself -- an unprecedented breach of trust and rejection of institutional norms that could permanently damage the standing of the court and its ability to function as an apolitical body.
And, of course, Joe Biden, himself, has been virtually silent on the matter, failing to effectively speak out against these riots and reassure the American people that those who seek to vandalize property and perpetrate violence will be held legally accountable for their actions by the Department of Justice.
This is entirely unacceptable behavior from a commander-in-chief, and as political allies like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (rather ironically) incite insurrection by labeling the Supreme Court's pending decision a "call to arms," the American people must demand that Joe Biden clarify where he stands, and whose side he's really on.
The rule of law must be upheld and applied equally, and that means calling out radical anti-life rioters and ensuring there are consequences for their violent outbursts and destruction of property across the country.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition calling on Joe Biden to condemn these rioters, and direct the U.S. Department of Justice to take action that will hold them accountable for their actions under the law.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'‘Rise up, fight back’: Pro-abortion protesters descend upon Justice Alito’s house over imminent abortion ruling' (LifeSiteNews)
**Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Since 2016, Twitter, Facebook, and other major online information and communications platforms have grown more aggressive in down-ranking and suppressing political speech at odds with their left-wing politics, most infamously on the COVID-19 debate, election integrity, damaging stories on Democrat candidates, and transgenderism.
Texas’s response to the issue follows legal reasoning articulated last year by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who argued that “[t]oday’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is the concentrated control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties. We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms.”
Among the “doctrines that limit the right of a private company to exclude,” he explained, was the legal obligation of “common carriers” to “serve all comers,” which dates back to the British common law underpinning the American legal system. “In exchange for regulating transportation and communication industries,” Thomas continued, “governments — both State and Federal — have sometimes given common carriers special government favors” such as “immunity from certain types of suits” or “regulations that make it more difficult for other companies to compete with the carrier,” in the process placing these companies “into a category distinct from other companies and closer to some functions, like the postal service, that the State has traditionally undertaken.”
As many have noted in recent years, social media companies currently enjoy one such favor: Section 230 of the federal Communications Decency Act, which shields platforms against being held liable for content posted by individual users. Some argue Section 230 should be amended to make its shield contingent on true political neutrality, while others have advocated for repealing it entirely.