At times, frankly, it’s pretty slim pickings for every party, but this is ridiculous: Old Joe Biden is looking increasingly unlikely to repeat his president act after January 20, 2025, and California Governor Gavin Newsom is now the Democrats’ rising star.
Yes, that Gavin Newsom, the one who is relentlessly destroying California with ever more intrusive and expensive nanny state socialist measures that are leading Californians to flee in droves: the state is experiencing a population decline for the first time in recorded history.
But Newsom is popular among Leftists because he is a socialist, and even better (as far as they’re concerned), an authoritarian who eagerly tramples upon the First Amendment in his lust to crack down on dissent. As the Left grows ever more open about its opposition to our Constitutional rights, Newsom’s disdain for the freedom of speech makes him look increasingly like the Democrat of the future, if the future belongs to Mao. But now he has encountered a small obstacle, in the form of a federal judge.
Back in September 2022, Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2098, a law prohibiting the dissemination of “misinformation” on the COVID hysteria. Specifically, according to a Thursday report in the San Francisco Gate, it established penalties for physicians who departed from “the contemporary scientific consensus” regarding COVID. Now that this “consensus” is being shown to have been based more on groupthink and political objectives rather than dispassionate and objective scientific analysis, Newsom’s bill appears to be particularly insidious. And it is: “misinformation” and “disinformation” are labels that today’s enemies of freedom use in order to suppress speech that gets in the way of their agenda while fooling Leftist rubes into thinking they’re performing a valuable public service. Newsom, not surprisingly, is an enthusiastic proponent of such deceptions.
According to the governor himself, of course, this fascist little bill was perfect, as it was “narrowly tailored to apply only to those egregious instances in which a licensee is acting with malicious intent or clearly deviating from the required standard of care while interacting directly with a patient under their care.” However, the Gate notes that “in an SFGATE op-ed last year, California physician Dr. Tracy Beth Høeg argued that AB 2098’s definition of ‘misinformation’ was too broad and that ‘the contemporary scientific consensus’ is always changing.” Indeed. If anything is obvious about COVID at this point, it’s that. And so “Høeg and other doctors sued the state, alleging that the law violates the First Amendment’s free speech protections and 14th Amendment’s due process protections.” Obviously it does.
Now a federal judge has recognized that fact. On Wednesday, Judge William B. Shubb shot down Newsom’s free-speech-destroying measure, and had strong words for it in his opinion: “Defendants argue that while the scientific consensus may sometimes be difficult to define, there is a clear scientific consensus on certain issues — for example, that apples contain sugar, that measles is caused by a virus, or that Down’s syndrome is caused by a chromosomal abnormality. However, AB 2098 does not apply the term ‘scientific consensus’ to such basic facts, but rather to COVID-19 — a disease that scientists have only been studying for a few years, and about which scientific conclusions have been hotly contested. COVID-19 is a quickly evolving area of science that in many aspects eludes consensus.”
Imagine if Gavin Newsom had had the marvelous opportunity to be walking on this planet in the year 1632. There is no doubt whatsoever about it: he would have been one of those insisting that Galileo obey the clear scientific consensus that the sun revolved around the earth, and would happily have burned him at the stake if he continued to insist otherwise. The contents of the orthodoxy and the heresy have changed, but otherwise the situation is the same: Gavin Newsom would have been a zealous Inquisitor. And Judge Shubb further embarrassed California’s Grand Inquisitor by pointing out that the definition of “misinformation” included in AB 2098 was “grammatically incoherent” and consequently thus “unconstitutionally vague.” The Gate adds that Shubb “had signaled he would grant the doctors’ request at a Monday hearing, in which he told California’s lawyers that their definition of ‘misinformation’ was ‘nonsense.’”
Totalitarians don’t give up when they encounter obstacles, and so Newsom will persist. The Gate notes that Shubb’s ruling was “not a final judgment on the constitutionality of the law but rather a temporary halt against enforcement while litigation continues. California can appeal to have the injunction lifted,” and you can be sure that it will. Although little noted among patriots, the war against the freedom of speech is the Left’s primary focus at this point. If Leftists can destroy it, under the guise of protecting the public against such trumped-up bogeymen as “hate speech” and “misinformation,” they will have a free hand to implement the rest of their sinister agenda. That’s why this small victory against AB 2098 should be celebrated, and imitated.
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