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Federal Judge Blocks Biden Administration Officials From Communicating With Social Media Platforms On "Protected Speech"

In a significant legal development, a federal judge blocks Biden administration officials from communicating with social media platforms regarding "protected speech."

Rhyley Carney
Jul 06, 20231451 Shares24591 Views
In a significant legal development, a federal judge blocks Biden administration officials from communicating with social mediaplatforms regarding "protected speech."
The decision stems from a lawsuit originally filed by former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, with the ruling granting a temporary injunction against multiple federal agencies.
These agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are now barred from contacting social media companies to influence the removal or suppression of content containing protected free speech.

Judge limits Biden administration's contact with social media companies

Temporary Injunction Protects Free Speech Content

Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued the temporary injunction, which restricts federal agencies from urging or inducing social media platforms to take actions against protected speech.
However, the ruling still allows agencies to notify the companies about criminal activities, national security threats, or foreign attempts to influence elections.
The lawsuit, filed last year by Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, alleges collusion between the federal government and social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook to stifle freedom of speech.
While Judge Doughty, a Trump-appointed judge, has not issued a final ruling, he acknowledged the evidence presented by the plaintiffs, stating that they demonstrated a significant effort by defendants, including federal agencies and the White House, to suppress speech based on its content.
Government attorneys argued that federal officials lack the authority to order the removal of content from social media platforms.
They accused Republican attorneys general of misrepresenting communications with companies regarding public health disinformation and election conspiracies.

Injunction Applauded By Plaintiff And Expanded Lawsuit

Eric Schmitt, who was elected to the U.S. Senate in November, celebrated the injunction on Twitter, hailing it as a "big win for the First Amendment on this Independence Day."
Although the initial litigation involved Missouri and Louisiana, additional plaintiffs who have faced issues with social media companies for spreading misinformation were added to the case.
One notable addition was Jim Hoft, founder of the right-wing conspiracy website Gateway Pundit, known for disseminating debunked conspiracies on various topics, including the Parkland school shooting and election fraud claims.

Support From Anti-Vaccine Movement

Schmitt's lawsuit also garnered support from high-profile figures within the anti-vaccine movement, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is now a presidential hopeful.
The case continues to attract attention as it raises questions about the boundaries between free speech, social media platforms, and government intervention.
The court's temporary injunction marks a significant development in the ongoing legal battle surrounding the regulation of online content and the protection of free speech.
As the case progresses, its outcome will likely have implications for the intersection of technology, information dissemination, and First Amendment rights.

Final Words

A federal judge has issued a temporary injunction prohibiting Biden administration officials from engaging with social media platforms on matters of "protected speech."
The decision emerged from a lawsuit filed by former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, alleging collusion between the federal government and social media companies to suppress freedom of speech.
While the injunction safeguards free speech content, the case continues to draw attention and raises questions about the boundaries between online platforms, government influence, and the protection of First Amendment rights.
As the legal battle unfolds, its implications for the regulation of online content will be closely watched.
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