Federalist Society's Freedom of Thought Project: Why Not Ban Firing, Deplatforming over Speech?

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The Federalist Society’s latest fundraising letter, from President Eugene B. Meyer, announces its Freedom of Thought Project, “a special initiative designed to promote discussion and debate on freedom of thought in five consequential areas of society.”

The five areas are:  Big Tech, the corporate world, the legal community, the academic world, and opinion leaders.  

Meyer notes the firings that have become an all-too-common occurrence as an enforcement mechanism for wokeism.  In what appears to me to be a first for the Federalist Society, he drops the W-word.  

“It is striking that some of these efforts (by Black Lives Matter, etc.) are extreme enough to suggest that we defund the police or that all white Americans are racist—but even more perniciously, many in this movement suggest that certain beliefs, held by millions of Americans, are unacceptable to express or even think.”

Yes.

This is heartening because I expect the typical libertarian response to Big Tech censorship to be:  they aren’t the government, therefore, they can do no wrong.  But Meyer is obviously getting that we’re in scary new territory here.

Respectable conservatives are late to the party, of course.  

I suggest super-charging free speech in America.

  • Federal legislation making it unlawful, as contrary to interstate commerce, civil rights, etc., for platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to censor speech.  Add to that making it unlawful for banks, PayPal, credit card companies, etc. to deplatform for political reasons.
  • State laws prohibiting the firing of employees for speech.  Include lawyer’s fees and punitive damages.
  • recognition of a common-law “prima facie tort” against firing over speech, political affiliation, etc.

The basic idea would be that free speech is guaranteed not only as against the government, but private parties, as well.

Yes, it could protect antifa or BLM.  But I suspect it would protect patriots far more.

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