A Trump-appointed judge has secured yet another legal victory for Americans. Thanks to the former president, we’ve had a number of legal victories recently.
A federal judge on Monday denied a request from the Justice Department to provisionally halt an order prohibiting senior Biden administration officials and multiple agencies from communicating with social media companies. The government argued that the injunction was excessively broad and could have a chilling effect on lawful activity.
In a 13-page decision denying the Justice Department’s request for a stay, former President Donald Trump’s federal appointee, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, reaffirmed that Missouri and Louisiana were certain to prevail on the major points of their lawsuit against the Biden administration.
“Although this Preliminary Injunction involves numerous agencies, it is not as broad as it appears. It only prohibits something the Defendants have no legal right to do — contacting social media companies for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner, the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms,” Doughty stated.
He asserted that Missouri and Louisiana “are likely to prove that all of the enjoined defendants coerced, significantly encouraged, and/or jointly participated [with] social-media companies to suppress social-media posts by American citizens that expressed opinions that were anti-COVID-19 vaccines, anti-COVID-19 lockdowns, posts that delegitimized or questioned the results of the 2020 election, and other content not subject to any exception to the First Amendment. These items are protected free speech and were seemingly censored because of the viewpoints they expressed.”
After Doughty’s denial, the Justice Department filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit requesting a stay of the lower court’s ruling pending the filing of an appeal. Due date for the petition is July 24.
“The district court issued a universal injunction with sweeping language that could be read to prohibit (among other things) virtually any government communication directed at social-media platforms regarding content moderation,” lawyers for the Department of Justice contended. “The court’s belief that the injunction forbids only unconstitutional conduct, while protecting the government’s lawful prerogatives, rested on a fundamentally erroneous conception of the First Amendment, and the court’s effort to tailor the injunction through a series of carveouts cured neither the injunction’s overbreadth nor its vagueness.”
BREAKING: Federal Judge Terry Doughty releases opinion in Missouri v. Biden on July 4th, finding the government likely violated the First Amendment by conspiring with Big Tech in a "far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign."
Judge Doughty grants preliminary injunction… pic.twitter.com/GyuoEZyWZD
— Election Wizard (@ElectionWiz) July 4, 2023
As part of a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri in 2022, Doughty announced on July 4 the order restricting interactions between the Biden administration and social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
As a violation of the First Amendment, the states and a number of other litigants asserted that senior government officials collaborated with social media companies to censor opinions and information on their platforms.
The preliminary injunction prohibits a number of high-ranking Biden administration officials, including White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, from communicating in a variety of ways with social media platforms.
More on this story via The Republic Brief:
Multiple federal agencies and members of the administration are temporarily forbidden from collaborating with the companies in any way that would be “urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner for removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”
The decree, however, contains a number of exceptions and permits the administration to alert social media companies to postings containing criminal conduct, dangers to the general public and national security, illegal measures to stifle voting, or foreign attempts at swaying elections. CONTINUE READING…