Elon Musk-Twitter Playoffs – The New York Times

Elon Musk’s Twitter plans may be bad news for Donald Trump’s social network. Trump had positioned his app Truth Social as Twitter’s free-running conservative counterpart, but if Musk takes over Twitter and loosens his moderation policy, Truth Social’s reason would be threatened.

Florida’s hasty review last week of a bill that repeals Walt Disney World’s special tax status, days after Gov. Ron DeSantis called for such a move, may seem to some like a quick government victory. But it can end up becoming a political responsibility if it ends up burdening local taxpayers or failing a legal challenge.

The conflict was sparked when Disney objected to a Florida law banning discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in elementary school classrooms. Disney has not yet commented on the state’s extraordinary response. But if the company sues, the lawmaker’s actions could be found unconstitutional, precisely because DeSantis has been so vocal in its opposition to Disney.

Companies are people too. For more than 50 years, Disney has run the Reedy Creek Improvement District independently and received special benefits. The repeal would end Disney’s special status in 2023, but many advocates and advocates for free speech say Florida could lose a constitutional challenge – if Disney can prove this was retaliation for political speech. As “artificial persons”, companies have long had constitutional rights. At the signing of the law on Friday, DeSantis referred to Disney’s position on the Education Act, calling it a “provocation” and promising to “fight back.” Although Disney is not eligible for its particular district, it appears to be in violation of the First Amendment to withdraw the benefit to punish the company for political protest.

But proving retaliation may not be easy. Despite DeSantis’ blatant feud with Disney, the company could have trouble showing that other lawmakers were motivated by the intention to punish political speech and would not have approved the bill but for Disney’s protest. Because the benefits in question are unique to Disney, this particular case can get complicated and get into unfamiliar constitutional realm.

Democrats and Republicans are changing sides. The ideological left and right are now taking new angles in an old struggle. In 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled Citizens United, a case that removed limits on corporate political spending, Democrats protested that corporations would have unnecessary political influence while Republicans cheered on corporate freedoms. Now, many conservatives are angry at companies that talk about political issues, while progressives have become the unlikely defenders of business.

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