OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The Supreme Court has finally stepped in and handed Donald Trump a much-needed, and well-deserved win, not only for him but for Americans who value free speech.
The 45th President of the United States was kind of vindicated on Monday when the nation’s highest court vacated a ruling by a lower court that said that Trump’s blocking of people on Twitter violated the First Amendment, Vox reported.
The Supreme Court vacated a lower court ruling that found former President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking followers on Twitter, ordering the case to be dismissed as moot now that he is no longer in office.
Though the Supreme Court did not rule on the merits of the case, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion that the “unprecedented” amount of control that Twitter and other digital platforms have over speech must be addressed in the future.
Justice Thomas went hard after the dystopian future that appears to be coming into effect before our eyes with Big Tech making decisions on what can be said and when.
“Twitter barred Mr. Trump not only from interacting with a few users, but removed him from the entire platform, thus barring all Twitter users from interacting with his messages,” Justice Thomas said.
“Today’s digital platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech, including speech by government actors. Also unprecedented, however, is the concentrated control of so much speech in the hands of a few private parties,” the Justice said.
“We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms,” he said.
The case was pursued by the Trump Justice Department but the Biden Justice Department asked the court to dismiss the case as moot and vacate the lower court’s orders.
But Katie Fallow of the Knight Institute, who was representing the Twitter users that were blocked by Trump, wanted the order to stay intact.
“There is now widespread recognition that the principles we established in this case are important to protecting the vitality of public forums that are increasingly important to our democracy,” shaping the way public officials use social media,” she said, NBC News reported.
The case is moot now because Twitter has banned Trump and he is not officially holding any elected office, which is why Justice Thomas’s words are so true.
We are in a society where a small group of private individuals can decide which voices are heard on social media platforms that reach billions of people.
In other SCOTUS news on Monday three conservative justices, namely Justices Roberts, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, sided with liberals again, this time ruling in favor of Google, CNN reported.
The Supreme Court has handed Google a win in a decade-old case in software development, holding that the technology giant did not commit copyright infringement against Oracle when it copied snippets of programming language to build its Android operating system.
Google’s copying of so-called application programming interfaces from Oracle’s Java SE was an example of fair use, the court held in a 6-2 decision authored by Justice Stephen Breyer.
In addition to resolving a multibillion-dollar dispute between the tech titans, the ruling helps affirm a longstanding practice in software development. But the Court declined to weigh in on the broader question of whether APIs are copyrightable.
Google celebrated the decision as “a victory for consumers, interoperability, and computer science. The decision gives legal certainty to the next generation of developers whose new products and services will benefit consumers.”
Oracle said that Google has stolen Java and then used its economic dominance to fight a prolonged legal battle.
“The Google platform just got bigger and market power greater,” it said. “The barriers to entry higher and the ability to compete lower …. This behavior is exactly why regulatory authorities around the world and in the United States are examining Google’s business practices.”