The Biden administration rushed to appeal a federal court’s ruling in Missouri v. Biden that banned White House officials from colluding with California tech giants to censor American speech.
Last week, Chief Judge Terry Doughty in the Western District of Louisiana handed down a preliminary injunction prohibiting the administration from collaborating with Silicon Valley to implement online censorship campaigns. The case was brought by attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana, who alleged last year the federal government violated Americans’ First Amendment liberties when pressuring online platforms to censor posts about Covid-19 and the president, among other things.
Judge Doughty cited “substantial evidence” presented by the plaintiffs of a “far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign” that warranted the injunction.
“If the allegations made by plaintiffs are true,” Doughty wrote, the case “involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.”
The judge barred more than two dozen administrative officials, including the White House press secretary, from communicating with Silicon Valley tech giants to implement a censorship regime. While litigation is underway, the White House may no longer flag posts for censorship or pressure companies to suppress users’ free speech.
The federal government immediately asked the federal judge in the case to stay the ruling and allow the administration to keep censoring speech. The government also pled for a stay in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In their motion to stay in the Western District Court of Louisiana, the Biden administration argued the court’s prohibition on federal censorship presented “irreparable harm” to the government and added aggressive regulation of the public square is within the “public interest.” The administration’s defense team also complained about the judge’s injunction blocking entire agencies from cooping social media platforms to suppress American speech. The injunction, they wrote, “will chill a wide range of lawful government conduct relating to Defendants’ law enforcement responsibilities, obligations to protect the national security, and prerogative to speak on matters of public concern.”
Judge Doughty was clear to provide exceptions to his ruling for posts that involve threats or criminal activity. The district trial court denied the administration’s motion on July 10.
The Biden administration immediately filed another motion to stay in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court put the case on the calendar last week and scheduled oral arguments for Aug. 10.
While the federal government argues “irreparable harm” over the inability to censor, the censorship campaigns on their own present irreparable consequences to the American public. One must look no further than the corporate-government collusion to suppress incriminating information about the Biden family business ventures that surfaced in the final weeks of the 2020 presidential contest. Post-election polling from the Media Research Center revealed nearly 20 percent of Biden voters across seven key swing states would have changed their minds had they been informed of any one of the eight scandals to plague the Democrat presidential nominee.
The government’s open suppression of information surrounding the novel Wuhan coronavirus also presented devastating consequences, wherein big tech algorithms presented a monolithic narrative that lockdowns and experimental vaccines were the only pandemic remedy.
The coronavirus lockdowns ultimately became one of the worst policy prescriptions pursued by lawmakers in U.S. history. The nation lost two years of productivity with a self-inflicted recession, while states that implemented strict lockdowns didn’t see any significant reduction in Covid. American students still haven’t recovered from prolonged school closures, and the nation emerged from the pandemic phase sicker than ever before with just less than 3 percent of adults in perfect health.
Despite the irreparable consequences of the government censorship regime, the Biden administration is desperate to keep the censorship industrial complex up and running. House Republicans on the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government revealed in June the administration expanded so-called “disinformation” initiatives to censor “malinformation,” information that is true but inconvenient.
Democrats in Congress have desperately sought to thwart the Weaponization Committee’s work to expose the full scope of censorship operations within the federal government. In March, the Select Subcommittee heard from Substack reporters Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger, who testified on their findings from the Twitter Files. Democrats repeatedly interrupted Republican questioning and pressured the two journalists to reveal their sources. New York Rep. Daniel Goldman claimed the FBI “had nothing to do” with Twitter’s suppression of Hunter Biden laptop stories three years ago despite the “Twitter Files: Part 7” showing exactly the opposite.