If you thought “Kraken” Sidney Powell was the dumbest attorney on TeamMaga, allow me to present newly-minted Missouri Senator Josh Hawley.
Hawley, who entered his first week of work by raising a fist in solidarity with Trump’s domestic terrorists as they attacked the Capitol Building, is having a sad. First, despite telling Congress, in his best Demi Moore, “but I strenuously object to the election!”, Congress overwhelmingly certified Joe Biden’s win.
Then, Hawley’s day got worse. Simon & Schuster, after seeing Josh literally cheer as a maga mob laid waste to the Capitol, canceled plans to publish Hawley’s book, Tyranny of Big Tech, or “Why is the Internet is so Mean to Nazis”.
Hawley, who graduated Yale Law School, issued a Press Release claiming that Simon & Schuster violated the First Amendment, and threatening the publishing house with unspecified dire consequences if they did not reverse course.
Either Hawley slept during his Con Law classes, or Yale owes him a refund. The First Amendment only applies to governmental restrictions on speech. It does not restrict the type of speech private companies may allow or disallow. Simon & Schuster could change its mission statement to “No trump-loving domestic terrorists allowed”, and it still would not violate the First Amendment, because the First Amendment does not restrict what Simon & Schuster may do, only what Mr. Hawley, as Senator, may do.
What does this mean? Well, apart from causing America to question the curriculum at Yale, it means that if Hawley follows through in his threat and seeks to pass a law against or otherwise punish Simon & Schuster for pulling his book, he would be violating the First Amendment, and you can bet Simon & Schuster‘s attorneys, unlike Josh, paid attention in Law School.