Justice Ketanji Jackson Asserts First Amendment Hinders Government’s Speech Censorship Efforts

Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s comments on Monday regarding the First Amendment within the Murthy v. Missouri case have sparked criticism from Trump supporters.

During Monday’s session, the Supreme Court deliberated on a case initiated by two Republican attorneys general from Louisiana and Missouri, alongside five social media users. They accused the Biden administration of unduly pressuring social media platforms to remove misinformation, arguing that such moderation amounted to censorship and infringed upon their First Amendment rights.

The outcome of this case, alongside others concerning social media, is expected to carry significant implications as it could establish standards for free speech in the digital age.

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson expressed doubt about a ruling that would broadly limit the government’s engagements with social media platforms. She raised concerns about potentially restricting officials’ ability to communicate with platforms, especially regarding matters related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The justices’ inquiries primarily revolved around defining coercion and evaluating Missouri’s eligibility to pursue the case. Justice Jackson honed in on whether, in specific heightened situations, the government ought to possess the power to restrict speech.

After Jackson’s statements, some MAGA supporters expressed their concerns on X about her position on the First Amendment.

Republican Representative Dan Bishop of North Carolina weighed in on X, characterizing Jackson’s remarks as “unsettling.”

“This is the most horrifying thing I’ve ever heard from a Supreme Court Justice,” wrote the popular account named End Wokeness. “Ketanji Brown-Jackson is concerned that the First Amendment is making it harder for the government to censor speech.”

“Color me shocked that the same Justice who doesn’t know what a woman is doesn’t know what the First Amendment is either,” Turning Point USA founder and president Charlie Kirk lamented.

Republican Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio said, “This is scary. As Justice Brandeis said, we need ‘more speech, not enforced silence.’ But today’s Left doesn’t see it that way.”

Jackson’s perspective implies that the government could potentially exploit a crisis or significant event to curtail Americans’ freedom of speech if it perceives such expression as hazardous.

This assertion has emerged in reaction to accusations against the Biden administration for attempting to stifle online discourse, spanning from Covid-related data to the Hunter Biden laptop controversy and the aftermath of the 2020 election.