Judge blocks federal agencies from colluding with big tech on censorship!

Major victory for freedom of speech online

The Attorneys General of Louisiana and Missouri have obtained a preliminary injunction from federal judge Terry A. Doughty which blocks the Biden administration from communicating with social media companies about restricting “protected speech.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey sued the Biden administration for “the most egregious violations of the First Amendment in the history of the United States of America.” The lawsuit is called Missouri v. Biden.

Judge Doughty has yet to make a final ruling, but the Washington Post says he will likely rule that the Biden Administration has violated the first amendment.

The Washington Post [WaPo] attempts to justify the coordination of censorship between the White House and social media. WaPo, whose parent company has hundreds of millions in contracts with the CIA, suggests that collaboration on speech is needed to fight “Russian disinformation” and criticism of the Covid-19 vaccines.

From Missouri Attorney General:

In order to protect the constitutional liberties of all Americans, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed their motion for a preliminary injunction in their landmark free speech lawsuit, Missouri v. Biden. After receiving thousands of internal federal documents, the attorneys general ask the court to block top officials in the federal government from coercing and colluding with Big tech social media companies to violate Americans’ right to free speech under the First Amendment. The motion for preliminary injunction highlights 1,432 facts showing that top officials in the federal government are coercing and colluding with big tech social media companies to censor free speech.

“As Attorney General, I will protect the Constitution, which includes defending the fundamental right to free speech enshrined in the First Amendment. The First Amendment is the cornerstone of our republic because the founders understood that the remedy to false speech has always been counter speech, not government censorship,” said Attorney General Bailey. “This case is the most important free speech lawsuit in a generation, as we highlight more than 1,400 facts showing the Biden Administration’s blatant coercion and collusion with Big Tech social media companies to suppress speech it disagrees with. I will not rest until the court blocks unelected bureaucrats from violating our constitutional right to free and open debate.”

“The overwhelming evidence is clear: the highest levels of our federal government are suppressing the First Amendment rights of Americans who have opposing views,” said Attorney General Landry. “This egregious and unlawful viewpoint censorship by the White House, FBI, CDC, CISA, and other agencies not only chills speech; but it also unjustly inflicts grave and irreparable injuries on citizens and states, whose duty it is to protect their fundamental rights.”

From Washington Post…

The injunction was a victory for the state attorneys general, who have accused the Biden administration of enabling a “sprawling federal ‘Censorship Enterprise’” to encourage tech giants to remove politically unfavorable viewpoints and speakers, and for conservatives who’ve accused the government of suppressing their speech. In their filings, the attorneys general alleged the actions amount to “the most egregious violations of the First Amendment in the history of the United States of America.”

The judge, Terry A. Doughty, has yet to make a final ruling in the case, but in issuing the injunction, he signaled he is likely to side with the Republican attorneys general and find that the Biden administration ran afoul of the First Amendment. He wrote that the attorneys general “have produced evidence of a massive effort by Defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content.”
The ruling could have critical implications for tech companies, which regularly communicate with government officials, especially during elections and emergencies, such as the coronavirus pandemic.

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