“The same justifications we’ve used to restrict conservative speech are being used to silence us on Palestine. We need a different approach”


Shortly before Eghbariah’s article was scheduled to go live, our journal’s president made the unprecedented decision to delay and ultimately block the piece. After hours of debate, a majority of our editors voted to sustain that decision.

25 of my fellow editors and I publicly objected. Two of my peers resigned. And yet, we were unable to prevent a group of smart, mostly liberal law students from engaging in what struck me as a clear act of censorship. 

Why? As I and others have discussed elsewhere, some editors worried about losing offers from prestigious law firms or having their “names and faces plastered on billboard trucks around campus accusing them of being Hamas supporters.” Others, who didn’t like Eghbariah’s conclusions, harped on any imperfection they could find—either in his essay or in the solicitation and editing process—despite overlooking comparable flaws in past blog essays.

The great War on Terror cop-out, standing — which killed cases like Clapper v. Amnesty Internationaland ACLU v. NSA — reared its head again. In the last two decades we’ve gotten used to the problem of legal challenges to new government programs being shot down precisely because their secret nature makes collecting evidence or showing standing or injury difficult, and Murthy proved no different. 

I’m not going to lie. It’s a bummer. For plaintiffs like Drs. Jay Bhattacharya and Aaron Kheriaty, for their lawyers and the Attorneys General of Louisiana and Missouri who brought the case, and for those of us who worked on the related Twitter Files stories, this is certainly a disappointment. Given that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security reportedly resumed contact with Internet platforms after oral arguments in this case in March led them to expect a favorable ruling, it’s logical to assume the Big Brothering will now resume in earnest.