California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has been at the forefront of dragging President Donald Trump into a trial, but now it has come back on him.
He is the one who is now being dragged into court to defend himself for allegedly censoring debate on vaccines.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons and a woman named Katarina Verrelli has sued Schiff in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
They have accused Schiff of violating their First Amendment rights and stifling the debate on vaccines by engaging in an abuse of power.
“Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” the General Counsel for the AAPS said. “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”
“In February and March 2019, Rep. Schiff contacted Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website,” AAPS said.
“Within 24 hours of Schiff’s letter to Amazon dated Mar 1, 2019, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access,” it said.
In response, twitter began a “Know The Facts” campaign that had a disclaimer on stories that were published by the AAPS.
“On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” it said.
“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D.said.
“AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits,” she said.
The argument is not about vaccines as much as it is about the right of the citizens to be able to make decisions for themselves.
And to base those decisions on hearing from a variety of sources for a particular matter, in this case, vaccines.
“The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny, it said.