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Trump pulls re-nomination of FCC Republican who stood up for First Amendment

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Jon Brodkin
Aug 4
Michael O'Rielly
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Brendan Carr
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O'Rielly has been on the FCC since 2013.A White House spokesperson declined comment when contacted by Ars. A spokesperson for O'Rielly also declined comment today but said O'Rielly's office plans to release a statement on the Trump action.O'Rielly, a member of the FCC's 3-2 Republican majority along with Chairman Ajit Pai and member Brendan Carr said in June that he has "deep reservations" that the FCC has the authority to limit social-media companies' legal protections in the way Trump demanded in an executive order.O'Rielly expanded on his views in a speech last week, saying, "The First Amendment protects us from limits on speech imposed by the government—not private actors—and we should all reject demands, in the name of the First Amendment, for private actors to curate or publish speech in a certain way. His speech came two days after the Trump administration formally petitioned the FCC to reinterpret Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in a way that would limit social media platforms' legal protections for hosting third-party content when the platforms take down content they consider objectionable.While O'Rielly said Trump has a right "to call for the review of any federal statute's application," the commissioner also said those reviews are "subject to applicable statutory and constitutional guardrails." O'Rielly's comments "drew attention of some White House and industry officials," Reuters wrote in a story about Trump pulling the re-nomination.Further ReadingAjit Pai calls for “vigorous debate” on Trump’s social media crackdownBy contrast, Commissioner Carr has explicitly and repeatedly supported Trump's social media crackdown and criticized Twitter for adding a fact check to Trump's claims that mail-in ballots will be "substantially fraudulent." Carr said that "Twitter made the decision to take on the president of the United States in a partisan, political debate and it did so in a really disingenuous way" and is "punishing speakers based on whether it approves or disapproves of their politics."Pai yesterday called for a "vigorous debate" on Trump's executive order as the FCC issued a public notice seeking comments on the Trump administration petition.

As said here by Jon Brodkin