On Thursday, Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat delegate from the Virgin Islands, expressed support for censorship, arguing that the Supreme Court had wrongly restricted the free expression rights protected by the 1st Amendment. She stated that it was because she believed the Supreme Court had reduced safeguards for free expression.
Plaskett criticized the views of one of the witnesses, Democratic Party presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
According to her, this is not the kind of free speech she is familiar with. She remembered a controversy that started due to Kennedy’s statements regarding the coronavirus’s disproportionate impact on specific populations.
Once again, Plaskett emphasized that the right to free speech is not an unqualified guarantee. She says, historically, the Supreme Court has not restricted free speech based on its content but instead on the time, place, and manner in which it is delivered.
The ranking member stated that Republicans did not bring Kennedy in to testify due to his social media ban but rather to align themselves with his provocative views. The comment was made in response to the senior member’s previous claim. Furthermore, she stated that the last witnesses questioned by the committee, such as Nina Jancowicz, the supposed “disinformation czar,” received death threats. She also suggested that Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the committee chair, was involved in these threats.
Plaskett stated that Republicans showed no concern for protecting free expression. Instead, they advocated for legislation requiring social media companies to promote any conspiracy theories, regardless of their harmful nature.
Later, she expressed that they want to compel social media companies to promote conspiracy theories because they believe it is the sole means for their candidate to secure victory in the 2020 election. She suggested that Congress should focus on other pressing issues, like inflation.
Kennedy’s opening statement focused on defending his record and acknowledging that he faced obstacles when discussing everyday issues. He stated that individuals are free to express their thoughts openly to protect ideas they disagree with.