(trendingpoliticsnews) – In a significant blow to the Biden administration, U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty has denied the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) request to stay a ruling that places limits on government communications with social media firms. The ruling is part of a larger case involving allegations of censorship and suppression of free speech on social media platforms.
The case was brought forward by Republican attorneys general who accused the Biden administration and various federal agencies of pressuring social media firms to remove content or suspend accounts that were critical of COVID-19 vaccines or questioned the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
The attorneys general for Missouri and Louisiana submitted a petition opposing the Biden administration’s motion to stay an injunction against its efforts to contact social media firms about a range of online content, including the ability to flag what they deem “misinformation.”
This injunction stops the defendants from influencing the removal or suppression of free speech content on social media. Judge Doughty’s order last week created exceptions for communications for cyberattacks, election interference, and national security threats. However, he stated that the DOJ and Biden administration did not provide any specific examples that “would provide grave harm to the American people or our democratic processes.”
The judge further argued that the defendants have no legal right to contact social media companies for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.
Judge Doughty ruled today to deny the Biden administration’s motion to stay the injunction in the State of Missouri versus Biden – Social Media Censorship Case. This is excellent news! Judge Doughty writes: pic.twitter.com/HHd9KioINn— Robert W Malone, MD (@RWMaloneMD) July 10, 2023
Doughtry also stated that the attorneys general are likely to prevail in proving that federal agencies and officials “significantly encouraged,” “coerced,” or “jointly participated” in allegedly suppressing social media posts. The ruling blocks various Biden administration officials and government agencies such as the Justice Department and the FBI from working with big tech firms to censor posts on social media.
The ruling has been hailed as a win for Republicans who sued the Biden administration, accusing it of using the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of alleged misinformation as an excuse to target views that went outside the mainstream narrative. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry described it as “arguably one of the most important First Amendment cases in modern history.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has stated before that the administration will “continue to promote responsible actions to protect public health, safety, and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our election.”
The DOJ has filed an appeal of the ruling and sought to lift the injunction in a filing made to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The outcome of this case could have significant implications for the future of free speech and censorship on social media platforms.