Moore to the Point – You're Darn Right the First Amendment Hamstrings the Government

While it will likely be a couple of months before the Supreme Court issues its opinion in Murthy v. Missouri (f/k/a Missouri v. Biden), there are snippets from the oral argument last Monday that linger in the air. 

Most notable, in my view, was Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s concern that the Plaintiffs’ position (namely, that the government shouldn’t be working hand-in-glove with social media platforms to censor opinions and users who disagree with government policy) might “hamstring” the government in “significant ways.” To which my instinctive reply is, “You’re darn right, Justice Jackson.” 


Justice Jackson Upset That the First Amendment Might Stop the Government From Suppressing Free Speech

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Problem With ‘Free Speech’ Reveals a Disturbing Fact About Democrats

I know it can’t be laid at the feet of lack of education. Jackson’s parents were well-educated and she herself was a champion debater in high school before obtaining both an undergraduate and law degree from Harvard University. 

So, I’m left to infer it’s an ideological astigmatism, this impulse on Jackson’s part to look at the First Amendment — at any of the Bill of Rights — and feel concern about the government being hamstrung — because that’s rather the entire point.

The Bill of Rights doesn’t grant us our rights — it preserves them by restricting (or “hamstringing”) the government. The view that this is somehow a problem is, in fact, a reprehensible blindspot.  

This “Moore to the Point” commentary aired on NewsTalkSTL on Monday, March 25th. Audio included below.

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