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Reblogged:Napolitano on Trump's Lawsuit Against 'Big Tech'

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Andrew Napolitano has written the most succinct and accessible column I have yet seen in mainstream media criticizing Donald Trump's lawsuit against the social media companies that recently denied him accounts.

The piece correctly notes that freedom of speech is a right derivative from our nature as human beings, that the law bars government from interfering with that that right, but not private individuals from taking actions within their rights, including property, against others for what they say:
Image by Marcos Luiz Photograph, via Unsplash, license.
Thus, the post office cannot kick me out of its buildings because of my political opinions or the color of my polo shirt, but you can kick me out of your garden party for either reason.

As you are free to invite me onto your private property, you are free to exclude me. The legal definition of private property has three branches: the right to use it as the owner sees fit, the right to alienate (sell or lease or pledge) it, and the right to exclude everyone -- even the government -- from it. Without the right to exclude, the property is not truly private.

The platforms that Trump has sued are indisputably private...
It is a relief to hear someone this prominent make this argument. Furthermore, Napolitano describes Trump's legal strategy to get around the private property "problem" he's facing, and the danger it poses to all of us, by opening the door to the government compelling speech. (This strategy is, incidentally, made possible -- and wrongly normalized by -- by the fact that government improperly owns or controls such venues as post offices and sports venues.)

Donald Trump richly deserves to lose this lawsuit, and should be stripped of whatever is left of his undeserved reputation as a friend of capitalism: This dangerous stunt seriously threatens our freedom.

-- CAV

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