A federal judge in Louisiana has barred the Biden administration and multiple federal agencies from contacting social media companies to suppress or censor content.
The preliminary injunction stems from a suit filed by the states of Missouri and Louisiana, along with critics of the Covid-19 lockdown regime, Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya, and owner of the Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft.
“If the allegations made by plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history,” wrote US District Judge Terry A Doughty.
“The plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the government has used its power to silence the opposition.”
Those bound by the injunction include:
President Joe Biden
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
The Food and Drug Administration
Centers for Disease Control
The Treasury Department
The US Election Assistance Commission
The FBI and the entire Justice Department
The Department of Health and Human Services
Bhattacharya and Kulldorff have been victims of social media censorship after their censorship-triggering statements included assertions that “thinking everyone must be vaccinated is scientifically flawed,” questioning whether natural immunity is stronger than vaccines and whether mask work.
The case also o encompasses the Justice Department’s efforts to suppress reporting from the New York Post about Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” before the 2020 election.
The injunction also validates accusations that government officials have colluded with Big Tech to suppress speech that counters official narratives.
“The evidence thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario,” wrote Doughty in a 155-page ruling.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian’ Ministry of Truth.'”
“The White House defendants made it very clear to social-media companies what they wanted to be suppressed and what they wanted to be amplified,” wrote Doughty.
“Faced with unrelenting pressure from the most powerful office in the world, the social-media companies apparently complied.”
Doughty quoted communications from Biden administration officials to social media company employees, saying they represent “examples of coercion exercised by the White House defendants.”
Here are some:
- “Hey folks, wanted to flag the below tweet and am wondering if we can get moving on the process of having it removed. ASAP”
- To Facebook: “Are you guys fucking serious? I want an answer on what happened here and I want it today.”
- “Cannot stress the degree to which this needs to be resolved immediately. Please remove this account immediately.”
The judge noted that those threats had extra credibility as the Democrats controlled the White House.
“Many emails between the White House and social-media companies referred to themselves as ‘partners.’ Twitter even sent the White House a ‘Partner Support Portal’ for expedited review of the White House’s requests,” wrote Doughty, a 2017 Trump nominee.
Now, agencies and people are now barred from contacting social media platforms with “the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”
“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable,” wrote Doughty.