House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee want to fast-track antitrust lawsuits against large tech companies as part of a plan to crack down on Silicon Valley.
In a two-page document titled “The House Judiciary Republican Agenda for Taking on Big Tech,” the lawmakers propose that trial judges should deal with antitrust cases against large tech companies quickly, and that appeals should go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“Antitrust cases take so long to litigate in part because of the length of the appellate process,” the document states. The lawmakers add that their proposal “would speed up consideration of these cases by providing for a direct appeal to the Supreme Court and requiring the Supreme Court to act quickly when these cases get there.”
The document, which begins with the sentence “Big Tech is out to get conservatives,” alleges that tech companies make “subjective content moderation decisions, often in a manner harmful to conservative voices.”
The agenda set out in the proposal includes passing a new law that would give people the right to sue tech companies for “censorship and silencing of conservatives."
There is no empirical evidence that tech companies disproportionately suppress conservative views. A report issued in February by New York University’s Stern Center for Business and Human Rights concluded that social media companies aren't systematically biased against conservatives and don't muzzle conservative users.
The committee Republicans also say they want to revise Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act -- which protects websites over their content-moderation decisions. Even without Section 230, the First Amendment independently protects websites' editorial decisions.