Marc Randazza is protecting the rights of Alex Jones, a host on InfoWars and a journalist.
Alex Jones faces several defamation lawsuits in different states filed by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Alex Jones at one point questioned the official narrative of the story, but now believes the shooting happened.
“Even though overwhelming – and indisputable – evidence exists showing exactly what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, certain individuals have persistently perpetuated a monstrous, unspeakable lie: That the Sandy Hook shooting was staged, and that the families who lost loved ones that day are actors who faked their relatives’ deaths,” the suit filed by lawyers from the Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder law firm claims, reports Connecticut Law Tribune.
Marc Randazza is defending Alex Jones in Connecticut.
“If you are a First Amendment lawyer and you hesitate in defending someone because of allegations of what they said, then you are not a First Amendment lawyer,” Randazza said.
Recently, Marc Randazza appeared as a guest on Alex Jones’s show InfoWars to discuss First Amendment issues. Randazza and Jones discussed a plethora of topics, including defamation lawsuits, free speech rights violations, and the growing impact of censorship by social media companies.
“You see this with people on the right being systematically ‘no platformed’, not just from media sites, but from YouTube, from Facebook, from Twitter and now from PayPal and Stripe. If any company decides that it doesn’t like the kind of thing you have to say, then you are off.”
Now, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify, Stitcher, and Pinterest have banned Alex Jones and InfoWars. How does this ban affect freedom of speech and the First Amendment rights of US citizens? Marc Randazza shared his opinions on the ban here:
Maybe I missed something here, but I clicked on the link and did not find Marc’s defense of Alex Jones. If somebody could point me to the Randazza defense of Jones in that link, I’d be appreciative.
Until then, we might consider this: The First Amendment guarantees each citizen free speech rights and I support that proposition enthusiastically. However, the Bill of Rights is a buffer against governmental intrusion into The People’s rights. It does not as a buffer against intrusion by private entities, such as Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. As private entities, they are free to curtail or otherwise limit freedom of a particular person’s speech. Of course, there are exceptions, such as the Westboro Baptist Church case, in which there was no governmental action. But those exceptions are very rare.
So, as I see it, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify, Stitcher, and Pinterest have no proscription against banning Alex Jones.
That sounds basically correct according to my understanding.
It occurs to me that government involvement in regulation of services like Google, Facebook, and Twitter (to mention the most obvious) might disappoint those seeking to suppress opinions they find disagreeable could backfire. While nothing now compels such services to carry anything their management dislikes, any sensible regulations likely to stand up to a court test could well require them to do so, as one might also suppose would be true for net neutrality rules. Given the first amendment, I can easily imagine federal courts either eviscerating regulations or issuing decisions requiring YouTube and others to reinstate the InfoWars channel and similar communication undertakings, even ones disliked by the overwhelming majority of the population. Unfortunately I also find it all too easy, if the present state of more or less continuous moral panic continues, to imagine the courts sustaining content regulation.