Mourning Trump’s tweets. An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer says Donald Trump’s Twitter account provided “important evidence in lawsuits that we … brought against him,” and so his now-ended presence there “was really in the public interest.”
■ Explained: Why Twitter’s Trump ban isn’t unconstitutional.
■ Bloomberg: “Tech platforms are not like a phone company … that just provides a connection.”
‘It would be a terrible shame.’ Harvard law prof Noah Feldman fears Trump will make his second impeachment trial about the First Amendment.
■ NBC News legal analyst Danny Cevallos: “Trump’s speech is probably defensible in every court—except, perhaps, the Senate.”
■ Free Speech Center director Ken Paulson explains why Trump is unlikely to face prosecution for inciting a riot—and why that’s a good thing …
■ … but an Ohio State professor of election law says a conviction isn’t impossible …
■ … and a University of North Carolina School of Law prof speculates that “the strongest case for both convicting Trump on the articles of impeachment in the Senate and for convicting him on criminal charges after he leaves office would be based primarily … on what he failed to do after the insurrection began.”
■ Developing coverage: For the first time, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has explicitly blamed the riot on Trump …
■ … and the FBI has filed the first conspiracy charges in connection with the siege.
Free cash for free speech. The Free Speech Center is offering grants of up to $1,000 for professors who host First Amendment-related events, presentations, forums and discussions.
■ Leaders at Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute have a wish list for Joe Biden’s first 100 days as president.
■ The Society of Professional Journalists is calling on Biden to end restrictions on federal employees speaking to reporters.
‘She is a danger to our country.’ Ex-Colorado state Rep. Brianna Buentello is suing U.S. Rep.—and alleged pre-insurrection Capitol tour guide—Lauren Boebert, accusing Boebert of violating the First Amendment by blocking Buentello on Twitter.
■ Buentello tweeted: “Free speech is … sacred to these ‘constitutionalists’ until they’re criticized.”
■ An adviser to President Reagan writes in The Washington Post: “Many voices on the right seem to have abandoned the idea that the marketplace can be trusted to sort itself out.”
Facebook’s fail. ProPublica: “Facebook said it would stop pushing users to join partisan political groups. It didn’t.”
■ Also from ProPublica: “Twitter and YouTube banned Steve Bannon. Apple still gives him millions of listeners.”
■ A political science professor: “Free speech” needs a new definition for the internet era.
‘Something very big and potentially … dangerous.’ Ken Paulson sounded that warning as he moderated a virtual panel, “On Freedom: Capitol Chaos and Its Impact on Democracy.”
■ See it here …
■ … or just listen here.