Clarence Thomas Wants U.S. Government To Regulate Your Social Media
Ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas thinks the U.S. government should have a say about what you can say on your social media platforms.
Thomas, whose wife Ginni was free to disparage Black Lives Matter and other social justice organizations on her personal Twitter account in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential elections, indicated on Monday that he wants Congress to consider adopting laws to regulate social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to rein in what he sees as their “unbridled control” over “unprecedented” amounts of free speech. Thomas did not indicate what he deemed to be the precedented amount of free speech that could or would remain outside of government control.
Thomas’s dissenting opinion was issued as part of the Supreme Court’s rejection of a lawsuit that sought to force Twitter to put twice-impeached, one-term former president Donald Trump back on its platform.”
“If part of the problem is private, concentrated control over online content and platforms available to the public, then part of the solution may be found in doctrines that limit the right of a private company to exclude,” Thomas wrote in a 12-page concurring opinion on Monday.
Unsurprisingly, Thomas’s dissent did not set well with free speech advocates. “Justice Thomas’s opinion represents the first time that we’ve seen a Supreme Court Justice appear to endorse the view increasingly prevalent among conservatives that private social media platforms should potentially be subject to significant government regulation notwithstanding the First Amendment,” said Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
No other justice agreed with Thomas or joined his opinion.