Yesterday, President Trump nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Public Knowledge finds this nomination extremely troubling for the future of consumer protection and competition law based on Judge Kavanaugh’s extremely expansive view of corporate speech rights and expressed antipathy to economic regulation.
The following can be attributed to Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge:
“Since his appointment to the D.C. Circuit, Judge Kavanaugh has made it clear that his extreme views on corporate speech, combined with his clear disdain for economic regulation, threaten the diversity in the marketplace of ideas previously championed by Justice Kennedy.
“Judge Kavanaugh’s presence on the Supreme Court would make it extraordinarily difficult for Congress, federal agencies, or the states to protect consumer privacy, or to address increasing concerns such as the proliferation of fake news, or to prevent network operators or digital platforms from censoring speech. Similarly, Judge Kavanaugh has already demonstrated in his jurisprudence that he would regard efforts to prevent broadband networks, search engines, or social media platforms from using their networks to unfairly disadvantage competing services as violations of the free-speech rights of companies such as Comcast, Google, or Facebook.
“In short, Judge Kavanaugh has consistently found that the First Amendment exists not to preserve civil liberties, but to protect corporate power. Anyone concerned with the future of consumer protection or competition should find Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination extremely troubling.”
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