From RECLAIM THE NET, by By Dan Frieth, Nov. 13, 2021
|A lawsuit has been filed against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) because of a letter she sent to Amazon, accusing the Big Tech giant of “peddling misinformation.”|
The lawsuit claims she violated the First Amendment by sending the letter.
In September, Sen. Warren sent a letter to Amazon accusing it of peddling misinformation by promoting books spreading “falsehoods” about COVID-19.
She said that the retailer’s algorithms had been recommending books promoting what she thinks is the wrong type of treatment.
“This pattern and practice of misbehavior suggests that Amazon is either unwilling or unable to modify its business practices to prevent the spread of falsehoods or the sale of inappropriate products—an unethical, unacceptable, and potentially unlawful course of action from one of the nation’s largest retailers,” Warren wrote in the letter.
Warren’s letter singled out a book by Joseph Mercola and Ronnie Cummings, titled “The Truth About COVID-19: Exposing the Great Reset, Lockdowns, Vaccine Passports, and the New Normal.” According to Warren’s letter, Mercola had been described as “the most influential spreader of coronavirus misinformation online.”
The publishers and authors of the book, along with Robert F Kennedy Jr, have jointly filed a complaint at the Western District of Washington court, accusing Warren of violating their free speech rights. Their complaint cites a past ruling in the Supreme Court in the Bantam Books v. Sullivan case, where state officials were found in violation of the First Amendment by sending letters to sellers warning them not to sell certain books.
We obtained a copy of the lawsuit for you here.
Almost sixty years ago, in Bantam Books v. Sullivan, 372 U.S. 58 (1963), the Supreme Court held that state officials violated the First Amendment by sending letters to booksellers warning that the sale of certain named books was potentially unlawful.The “vice” in such letters and in the “veiled threat” of legal repercussions they communicated, explained the Court, is that they allow government to achieve censorship while doing an end-run around the judiciary, “provid[ing] no safeguards whatever against the suppression of . . . constitutionally protected” speech, thus effecting an unconstitutional “prior restraint.”
“Today, certain members of the United States Congress have apparently forgotten, or think they are above, the prohibition of ‘informal censorship’ by public officials set forth in Bantam,” the complaint reads.
The complainants also claim that Warren’s letter contained unsubstantiated accusations and falsehoods.
“The term ‘vaccine misinformation,’ as Senator Warren uses it is propagandistic and false, referring to any speech challenging the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccines, even when that speech consists of factually accurate information or reasonable and protected opinion,” the complaint states.
“Senator Warren broke the law and betrayed our fundamental right to free speech,” said Dr. Joseph Mercola, founder of Mercola.com, a natural health website. “No politician is above the law, I will do everything in my power to defend my constitutional rights as an American.”
|The Welsh Liberal Democrats continue their campaign against introduction of Covid Passes, calling attention to the fact that not even those in government who are pushing the controversial certificates are able to properly justify them.|
On its site, the party noted that the Welsh government has admitted to not having any empirical evidence that introducing Covid passes helped stem the tide of coronavirus transmission in places of mass gatherings of people.
Naturally, the government response to a question on this subject didn’t put the evaluation of the effectiveness of Covid passes in quite so many words, but the opposition interpreted them to mean just that.
The scheme was launched on October 11, and a month later, the Liberal Democrats are quoting a reply they got to their letter about this issue sent to Health Minister Eluned Morgan by party leader Jane Dodd.
In it, Morgan says that too little time had elapsed since the rollout of Covid passes to be able to assess their effectiveness, but that there was “positive feedback” from stakeholders and users of the passes. And it seems the positive feedback has to do with subjective feelings, rather than, as the Liberal Democrats put it, hard evidence.
Covid pass, Morgan writes, has given those holding it “the confidence to attend venues and events, knowing everyone else is either fully vaccinated or has had a very recent negative test result.”
Commenting on this response, Dodd noted that laws with such a strong impact on people’s civil liberties must be justified by strong evidence. She also noted that her party was not opposed to efforts to curb Covid and associated harm, but insists that action taken to this end “must be proportional and based on an evidence-based strategy that has a clear outcome.”
Dodd went on to cite a leaked UK government document that showed Covid passes might even be harmful in terms of producing more infections as more people are gathering in smaller spaces – possibly under a false sense of security.
And even though Morgan cited positive feedback from “stakeholders,” the businesses affected by Covid passes continue to feel increased burden from the scheme, while not receiving financial aid to help them cope.
Lastly, Dodd urged the government to state a precise date when this policy, which she said was “introduced without sufficient evidence,” will come to an end.