(trendingpoliticsnews) – The U.S. government has submitted an urgent stay request to halt a recent court order issued that prohibits the government from colluding with social media companies to censor constitutionally protected speech.
In the emergency stay request, the government argued that the injunction lacked clarity and that the attorney generals failed to demonstrate any harm resulting from the censorship. This argument had previously been dismissed by Judge Terry Doughty on multiple occasions.
“Defendants respectfully request that the Court stay its July 4 preliminary injunction pending Defendant’s appeal of that order,” the government said. “The Government faces irreparable harm with each day the injunction remains in effect, as the injunction’s broad scope and ambiguous terms (including a lack of clarity with respect to what the injunction does not prohibit) may be read to prevent the Government from engaging in a vast range of lawful and responsible conduct—including speaking on matters of public concern and working with social media companies on initiatives to prevent grave harm to the American people and our democratic processes.”
“These immediate and ongoing harms to the Government outweigh any risk of injury to Plaintiffs if a stay is granted, and for the same reason, a stay is in the public interest,” the government added. “Moreover, Defendants have shown a substantial case on the merits regarding Plaintiffs’ lack of Article III standing and failure to present evidence substantiating their First Amendment claims. Accordingly, this Court should exercise its discretion to temporarily stay the preliminary injunction during the pendency of Defendants’ Fifth Circuit appeal.”
Thus, the government’s request for a suspension clearly indicates that it prioritizes its alleged defense of “democracy” over the constitutionally protected rights of American citizens.
The lawsuit, originally filed by former Republican Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in May 2022, alleges that White House officials colluded with or pressured Big Tech companies to suppress certain speakers, viewpoints, and content on their platforms using labels such as “dis-information,” “mis-information,” and “mal-information.”
The injunction represents a victory for the state attorneys general who claim that the Biden administration has supported a “massive federal ‘Censorship Enterprise’” that encourages tech giants to exclude politically undesirable perspectives and speakers. Conservatives who argue that their speech is being suppressed also view this as a win. The attorneys general argue that these actions constitute “the most blatant violations of the First Amendment in U.S. history.”
The injunction outlines several limitations that may be imposed on federal authorities when dealing with tech companies, including discouraging them from pressuring or urging social media companies to censor or remove constitutionally protected speech.
Judge Doughty clarified that officials are allowed to communicate with tech companies regarding posts or accounts associated with criminal activities such as child pornography. He noted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has relied on the cooperation of social media companies for years to identify networks involved in child exploitation. Officials will also be permitted to discuss national security threats, illicit political campaign activities, and cyberattacks.
Although the final decision in the case is still pending, it is widely anticipated that Judge Doughty will rule in favor of the Republicans, effectively ending more than a decade of collaboration between federal authorities and powerful tech industry leaders in regulating public discourse.