Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana has made a historic ruling by partially granting an injunction that 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 injunction came in response to a censorship-by-proxy lawsuit brought by attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, who have accused Biden administration officials and various government agencies of pressuring social media companies to suspend accounts or take down posts.
According to reporting by Tom Ozimek of the Epoch Times, Judge Doughty held in the July 4 ruling (pdf here) that various government agencies, including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. State Department, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are prohibited from taking a range of actions regarding social media companies.
Specifically, the agencies and their staff members are prohibited from meeting or contacting by phone, email, or text message or “engaging in any communication of any kind with social-media companies urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner for removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech,” per the injunction.
The agencies are also barred from flagging content on posts on social media platforms and forwarding them to the companies with requests for action such as removing or otherwise suppressing their reach.
“This could be arguably one of the most important First Amendment cases in modern history,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, one of the plaintiffs, told The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” in an interview following the ruling.
“If you look at the opinion that the judge lays out, he takes from our argument that this is basically one of the most massive undertakings of the federal government to limit American speech in the history of our country. The things that we uncovered, in this case, should be both shocking, appalling, and concerning for all Americans,” reported Mr. Ozimek.
The judge has granted a preliminary injunction.
"If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States' history. In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment's right to free speech," Doughty wrote.
He explained that the plaintiffs allege that the defendants "colluded with and/or coerced social-media platforms to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms."
"The Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition. Opposition to COVID-19 vaccines; opposition to COVID-19 masking and lockdowns; opposition to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19; opposition to the validity of the 2020 election; opposition to President Biden's policies; statements that the Hunter Biden laptop story was true; and opposition to policies of the government officials in power. All were suppressed," Doughty wrote.
"It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech," he added. "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.'"
Back in 2018 Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, next to Adam Schiff one of the vilest creatures ever to soil the halls of Congress, chastised Republicans during a hearing on social media censorship saying, “We continue to go down a road of pure fantasy.”
“While there are legitimate questions to be raised about social media companies’ practices in general, alleged anti-conservative bias is simply not one of them,” he said. "What concerns me is the political pressure that is apparently being brought to bear now on all of these entities and the suggestion they are buckling under this myth," Raskin said.
Judge Doughty’s ruling finally puts to lie Raskin’s disingenuous protestations that there has been no social media censorship of conservatives – there was political pressure against conservative speech being brought to bear on social media companies, and Raskin and other Democrats knew it, because they were behind it.
Big Tech censorship
social media companies
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
U.S. State Department
Department of Justice (DOJ)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Judge Terry A. Doughty
Lab leak theory