Earlier this month, Facebook’s quasi-autonomous Oversight Board upheld the company’s January decision to prohibit then-President Donald Trump from posting on its platform, and according to a prominent critic of the move, the former commander in chief should consider pursuing reinstatement through a different body altogether.
According to Fox News, entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy said on Monday that instead of trying to secure a reversal from company when it revisits the topic in six months, Trump should instead take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court where he would be able to raise a “groundbreaking legal theory.”
Ramaswamy, who wrote WOKE, INC.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam, blasted the process used by the Oversight Board to justify the ban on Trump as well as what he feels was the transparent charade of requiring the company to reassess the proper duration of the ban later this year and to work on adding clarity and consistency to their rules.
“I think that this self-criticism was just a veneer, it’s a smokescreen designed to create this air of legitimacy around their decision when in fact they did exactly what Mark Zuckerberg wanted to. They reinforced the decision that Facebook made,” Ramaswamy said during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
Rather than wait around for another phony review to determine whether he can ever return to major social media platforms, Ramaswamy believes that Trump should “take this case – not to Facebook’s sham corporate Supreme Court – he should take it to the real U.S. Supreme Court. And I actually think he has a potentially groundbreaking legal theory.”
Ramaswamy continued, “Facts are on his side, where these companies aren’t like normal private companies. They’re effectively doing the bidding of Democrats in Congress who have threatened them with regulation and reprisal if they don’t go out and censor content that they as Democrats don’t want to see, and they give them Section 230 immunity and go out and do it,” referring to a key provision in the federal Communications Decency Act.
The author opined that the platforms’ practices are essentially “a combination of a stick and a carrot that turns this private action into really state-like action that’s governed by the First Amendement,” and noted that Justice [Clarence] Thomas “threw down the gauntlet and said that he was interested in hearing the case…I think Trump should take it all the way to the real U.S. Supreme Court.”
The reference to Justice Thomas relates to an April concurrence authored by the conservative jurist in which he suggested that First Amendment scrutiny from the high court on this and similar matters could well result in widespread treatment of social media sites as common carriers and restrictions on their freedom to remove political content they do not like.
Time will tell whether Trump will take Ramaswamy’s advice and prompt the highest court in the land to weigh in on a subject that has undeniable implications for the future of free speech and for the unfettered flow of information on which the survival of this republic depends.