Federal Court Upholds Texas Social Media Bill, Rules Corporations Do Not Have ‘Right’ To Censor’

By: Trevor Schakohl, Daily Caller, on September 17, 2022

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals preserved Texas state law Friday that would stop large social media platforms from restricting particular opinions.

Texas’ HB 20 was signed last year and generally prohibits platforms with over 50 million monthly U.S. users from censoring them based on their viewpoints. The Computer Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the NetChoice organization, representing social media companies, argued that aspects of the law were unconstitutional but failed to convince the court.

“In urging such sweeping relief, the platforms offer a rather odd inversion of the First Amendment,” the court’s majority decision said. “That Amendment, of course, protects every person’s right to ‘the freedom of speech.’ But the platforms argue that buried somewhere in the person’s enumerated right to free speech lies a corporation’s unenumerated right to muzzle speech.”

The appeals court must give the district court that previously decided the case written instructions for the law to become effective, according to Politico. A 5-4 May U.S. Supreme Court ruling had halted the law from going into force after an emergency request by the CCIA and NetChoice.

Appealing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated the circuit court’s decision Friday, tweeting, “#BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY Texan! The 5th Circuit ‘reject[s] the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say.”

BREAKING: I just secured a MASSIVE VICTORY for the Constitution & Free Speech in fed court: #BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY Texan! The 5th Circuit “reject[s] the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say.
BREAKING: I just secured a MASSIVE VICTORY for the Constitution & Free Speech in fed court: #BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY Texan! The 5th Circuit “reject[s] the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say.

CCIA President Matt Schruers decried the ruling, stating, “Forcing private companies to give equal treatment to all viewpoints on their platforms places foreign propaganda and extremism on equal footing with decent Internet users, and places Americans at risk,” according to The Hill.

The Supreme Court could still be asked to directly consider the law’s validity, the outlet reported.

In May, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a block on enforcing parts of Florida Senate Bill 7072, which would require social media platforms to explain the reasons for individual acts of supposed censorship, deplatforming and shadow banning and stop them from censoring a “journalistic enterprise based on the content of its publication or broadcast,” according to The National Law Review.

“We are disappointed that the Fifth Circuit’s split decision undermines First Amendment protections and creates a circuit split with the unanimous decision of the Eleventh Circuit,” NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel Carl Szabo said in a Friday press release. “We remain convinced that when the U.S. Supreme Court hears one of our cases, it will uphold the First Amendment rights of websites, platforms, and apps.”

Source:  https://gellerreport.com/2022/09/federal-court-against-big-tech.html/?lctg=148053577

Highland Park Illinois Mayor Says Armed Good Guy Could Not Have Stopped Rampage — but Indiana Hero Stopped Shooter in 15 Seconds !

by AWR Hawkins

While speaking Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering (D) suggested an armed citizen engaging the July 4 parade attacker would have meant “more carnage.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) described how some states allow people to carry guns “with no training whatsoever.”

He then asked Rotering, “How much can we count on a good guy with a gun to stop  a mass shooter when the mass shooter has an AR-15-style ‘assault weapon’ that can empty a 30-round magazine in about as many seconds?”

The Associated Press

The Alvarez-Sanchez family, center, join local residents for a two-minute moment of silence at 10:14 a.m. at a memorial Monday, July 11, 2022, in Highland Park, Illinois, to the seven people who lost their lives during the town’s Fourth if July parade. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Rotering responded, “A good guy with a gun would have had no impact on the shooter.”

A body is transported from the scene of a mass shooting during the July 4th holiday weekend Monday July 4 2022 in Highland Park Ill Armando L SanchezChicago TribuneTribune News Service via Getty Images

A body is transported from the scene of a mass shooting during the July 4th holiday weekend Monday, July 4, 2022, in Highland Park, Illinois. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

She went on to describe witness testimony of the sounds of bullets ricocheting and added, “And we had good guys on site who were trained, who got there within seconds, and it was just too hard to see where [the attacker] was.”

A police officer picks up a waterlogged American flag Tuesday July 5 2022 left behind after Mondays mass shooting in Highland Park Stacey WescottChicago TribuneTribune News Service via Getty Images

A police officer picks up a waterlogged American flag, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, left behind after Monday’s mass shooting in Highland Park. (Stacey Wescott/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Rotering mentioned a rifle round’s effectiveness against certain types of body armor. then said, “I think the fact that we had less than a minute should tell anyone who thinks a good guy with a gun would have had an impact, the only thing you would have happened would have been more chaos, more carnage.”

On Sunday, an attacker with a rifle opened fire in Indiana’s Greenwood Park Mall and police noted that 22-year-old Elisjsha Dicken drew a handgun and “neutralized” the attacker in 15 seconds.

The NRA noted that Dicken began engaging the attacker from a distance of 40 yards. Dicken fired ten rounds, hitting the attacker with eight of those rounds and ending the attack.

Dicken does not have any formal police or military firearm training. Rather, “he learned to shoot from his grandfather,” WTHR pointed out.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

2nd AmendmentPoliticsDemocrat Gun ControlGood Guy With a GunHighland ParkJuly 4th

Catholic school can fire teacher for being in same-sex marriage, Indiana court rules

by Michael Gryboski

An Indiana court has dismissed a lawsuit filed against a Roman Catholic Archdiocese by a former private school teacher who was fired for being in a same-sex marriage.

Marion Superior Court Judge Lance D. Hamner issued an order Friday in favor of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit by former teacher Joshua Payne-Elliot.

According to the order, the court concluded that there was a “lack of subject matter jurisdiction” and “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, a law firm that represented the archdiocese, released a statement Friday expressing support for the order.

“If the First Amendment means anything, it means the government can’t punish the Catholic Church for asking Catholic educators to support Catholic teaching,” Goodrich said.

“This has always been a very simple case, because the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the freedom of religious schools to choose teachers who support their religious faith.”

Kathleen DeLaney, the attorney representing Payne-Elliott, told the Indianapolis Star that she took issue with the order, especially its explanation for the complaint's dismissal.

“The decision itself offers no reason, no rationale, no basis,” DeLaney said. “We have no way to know how the judge got to the decision.”

In June 2019, Payne-Elliot was fired from Cathedral High School after it was revealed that he had married another teacher of the same sex who worked at a different high school.

The firing reportedly came at the specific direction of the archdiocese, as the school had originally intended to renew his contract for the 2019-2020 school year.

Although Payne-Elliot reached a settlement with Cathedral High School soon after his firing, he filed legal action against the archdiocese, accusing it of forcing the school to dismiss him.

“We hope that this case will put a stop to the targeting of LGBTQ employees and their families,” said Payne-Elliot in a statement at the time, as reported by the Indianapolis Star.

A trial court had originally supported having the case go forward, however, the Indiana state Supreme Court intervened and told the lower court to reconsider the complaint.

In July 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that two Catholic schools could classify their teachers as ministers and not be held to the standards of anti-discrimination laws.

Justice Samuel Alito delivered the opinion of the court, known as Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, which regarded two lawsuits against two Catholic schools in California.

“The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission,” Alito wrote.

“Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those responsibilities would undermine the independence of religious institutions in a way that the First Amendment does not tolerate.”

Source:  https://www.christianpost.com/news/catholic-school-can-fire-teacher-for-being-in-same-sex-marriage-judge-rules.html

Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe, according to draft opinion published by Politico

by Amy Howe and James Romoser (SCOTUS Blog)

Related:  OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE: Leak Shows Trump Delivered on Justices Ending Baby Murder

nighttime scene in front of supreme court with crowd of people holding signs supporting abortion rights

Within hours of the Politico story, crowds of demonstrators gathered in front of the Supreme Court on Monday nigh [Katie Barlow]

The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, according to a copy of an apparent draft opinion obtained by Politico.

Obtained by reporters Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward, the 98-page draft opinion by Justice Samuel Alito is dated Feb. 10, 2022. It is styled as the “opinion of the Court” in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which Mississippi and its supporters have asked the justices to eliminate the constitutional right to abortion that was first established by Roe in 1973 and re-affirmed by Casey in 1992.

Initial votes on the outcome of a case can change — and the wording of opinions frequently does — as the justices deliberate and circulate draft opinions. The court is expected to release its decision in Dobbs in the next two months.

nighttime scene of people seated on ground with candles in front of supreme court
Demonstrators lit candles and held signs in front of the court on Monday night. (Katie Barlow)

Stressing that abortion “presents a profound moral question,” Alito’s draft concludes that the Constitution “does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating and prohibiting abortion.” He describes Roe as “egregiously wrong from the start.”

In a staff email, Politico’s executive editor, Dafna Linzer, wrote: “After an extensive review process, we are confident of the authenticity of the draft. This unprecedented view into the justices’ deliberations is plainly news of great public interest.”

Posted in Featured, Merits Cases

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe and James Romoser, Court has voted to overturn Roe, according to draft opinion published by Politico, SCOTUSblog (May. 2, 2022, 10:17 PM), https://www.scotusblog.com/2022/05/court-has-voted-to-overturn-roe-according-to-draft-opinion-published-by-politico/

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JUST IN: The Supreme Court confirms the authenticity of the draft opinion revealed last night by Politico. The chief justice has ordered an investigation into the leak.

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(cont’d) 2. Those interested in who leaked the draft should wonder why Alexander Ward — a national security reporter — shares the byline. The leaker would insist that their identity be incredibly tightly held. Politico would not assign someone who didn’t have to be on the story.

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Two final thoughts. 1. Politico reports that the 5 original votes to overturn Roe are “unchanged *as of this week*,” but does not report (and the leaker would know) that they have all said they will join the Alito opinion. At least 1 is apparently uncommitted. Hence the leak?

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It's remarkable, the leak of what appears to be an initial draft majority opinion. SCOTUS generally has kept its secrets and has kept confidential its internal processes and deliberations. But the Court does occasionally leak, and it has leaked before about Roe v. Wade. 1/x

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The @politico bombshell and the leaked opinion overturning Roe v. Wade in a TikTok minute.

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