Trump Just Violated Freedom Of Speech Leading To Major Lawsuit

If you wouldn't let him in your home, you probably don't want him on your phone.

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In a post-9/11 world, it makes a perverse sort of sense that America would need some kind of system, akin to a hurricane or tsunami early warning system like many we have in place, to warn against acts of terrorism. After all, if we as a people have acquiesced to the necessity of removing one’s shoes at the airport after the failed attempt of one individual nearly 17 years ago to use his own shoe as an incendiary device on an airplane, it follows that America would quietly accept that we are now a country in a perpetual state of fear.

So it never should have come as a surprise that one day, following the advancements in technology that have led to the vast majority of America’s communication being done on devices that fit neatly in our pockets and purses, such a warning system would be designed for delivery onto those devices. That day has come. On October 3, most Americans received their first “presidential alert” message on their cell phones, part of a system designed to warn against “natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters or threats to public safety.”

Now, some got the message and some did not, which raises concerns about not just the efficacy of such a plan but the implementation of it. But setting that aside for a moment, some Americans are considering whether they even want a “presidential alert” on their phone. It is a service that cannot be muted by any known means, so the roughly 95 percent of Americans who own cell phones will ostensibly be getting the messages eventually.


Three plaintiffs have decided to speak for those with phones who don’t want them. J.B. Nicholas, Kristine Rakowsky and Liane Nikitovich filed a lawsuit against President Donald Trump and FEMA Administrator William Long which argues that the system violates both the First and the Fourth Amendments in that it compels a user to receive unwanted messages from the government and violates the right to privacy.

The case may have merit. The plaintiffs argue that the system:

…allows government speakers to trespass wholesale into Americans’ cellular devices and homes, without a warrant or consent, effectively planting a government-control loudspeaker in the ear and residence of every person with a cellular device. Just as a pamphleteer cannot compel a passerby to accept a screed, so, too, government cannot send messages to peoples’ cellular devices without being invited to do so.”

Not only that, they argue, but the system is also unconstitutionally vague — it has never been specified what would constitute “natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters or threats to public safety.” Would, say, the media — the so-called “enemy of the people” that Trump paints it as — be considered a threat to public safety? He certainly wants you to think so when he talks about it.

No hearings have yet been set in the case.

Featured image via composite

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