Elizabeth Warren may face consequences for practicing censorship
Elizabeth Warren, a mediocre law professor who parlayed a fake Native American identity into a gig at Harvard and a seat in the United States Senate, thought that, once in government, she'd try her hand at censorship. When Joseph Mercola and Ronnie Cummins wrote a book about COVID with which Warren disagreed, she used her position as a senator to try to get Amazon to censor the book. Although Chelsea Green Publishing filed suit in November, people are finally becoming aware of the suit.
I'm always amazed when someone who ought to know the law doesn't — or feels entitled to ignore it. As a lawyer and a law professor, one would expect Warren to be familiar with the First Amendment. That's the one that says that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." As government has grown, that principle has been extended to the federal government as a whole, whether it's an executive agency, Congress, or a politician acting under the color of his role in the government (and of course, to state governments via the Fourteenth Amendment).
Nevertheless, on September 7, 2021, writing in her capacity as a United States senator, on official Senate letterhead, Warren sent a very long letter to Andy Jassy, Amazon's CEO, expressing her concern that Amazon itself was publishing misinformation by allowing Mercola's and Cummins's book, The Truth About COVID-19: Exposing the Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and the New Normal, to appear on its bestseller list and daring to give it a favorable ranking. After waffling on for several pages, and mendaciously claiming that the book was "potentially unlawful," Warren "asked" Amazon to modify the algorithms to destroy the book's ranking.
Chelsea Green responded in November by suing Warren for violating the First Amendment, although news of that filing reached the media only recently. The lawsuit relies upon Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58 (1962). Bantam Books involved a newly created Rhode Island Commission, which had the task of educating the public about any written material that could harm the morality of or otherwise corrupt Rhode Island's young people.
Image: Elizabeth Warren fakes it with beer. YouTube screen grab.
In Bantam Books, the plaintiff publishers sued, alleging that the commission was violating their First Amendment rights. The Court held, in relevant part, that government representatives sending letters to booksellers to pull books constitutes a form of censorship that violates the Constitution.
Specifically, the government cannot relieve itself of the First Amendment's prohibitions by urging a private party to act on its behalf. In the same way, when Biden told social media companies to censor views with which he disagrees, that too violated the Constitution. The only thing is that he was just telling the media companies to do what they're already doing.
In the original November 8, 2021 press release about the lawsuit, Chelsea Green had this to say:
Plaintiffs allege Warren's letter contained blatant falsehoods and unsubstantiated accusations about the book and that Warren's claims, even if correct, would not alter the book's constitutional protectedness.
"Senator Warren broke the law and betrayed our fundamental right to free speech," said Dr. Joseph Mercola, founder of Mercola.com, a natural health website. "No politician is above the law, I will do everything in my power to defend my constitutional rights as an American."
Ronnie Cummins, co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association, said: "Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech is necessary if we are to achieve a system of participatory democracy and solve the interrelated crises that threaten our survival — health, food, environment, climate, politics."
"The government trying to ban books is a very dangerous slippery slope to totalitarianism and cannot be allowed," said Margo Baldwin, Chelsea Green president and publisher.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman, Children's Health Defense, said: "If a government can hide what it's doing by censoring its opponents and silencing dissonants, it has license to do anything that it wants. Sen. Warren must be held accountable."
I wish Chelsea Green luck. Like all leftists, Warren is a bully, and it's high time she was seriously reprimanded for her bullying ways. I'm only sorry that the lawsuit cannot include a request for compensatory and punitive damages.