On Monday, the primary litigants in a landmark free speech case asked a federal appeals court to uphold an order issued by a lower court. Because of this order, the federal government cannot pressure social media platforms to remove legally protected content.
Three medical professionals and an activist who opposed the government’s handling of COVID-19 were represented in court by the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA). The complaint was first brought on July 4 by Republican and Louisiana and Missouri Attorneys General Jeff Landry and Andrew Bailey, respectively.
The request that the preliminary injunction be upheld was submitted to Judge Terry Doughty of the Fifth Circuit. Doughty ordered the injunction after discovering evidence of a concerted attempt by Defendants, including the White House and government agencies, to stifle speech based on its content.
An almost five-year effort was put to an end by this injunction. The brief states To stifle unpopular opinions, senior government authorities coerced, threatened, deceived, pressured, and colluded with social media companies to influence their content moderation choices. The federal government’s censorship policy significantly skewed the internet conversation on social and political issues in the United States. It made sharing certain kinds of opinions online almost difficult.
Until additional instructions from the court, the Fifth Circuit put a hold on Doughty’s injunction on July 14.
According to NCLA legal attorney Jenin Younes, the government’s censorship regime during the Covid period prevented scientists from discussing crucial issues, including lockdowns, school closures, mandates, and the virus’s origins. The measures enacted as a result of this stifling were ultimately counterproductive. However, the Biden administration is intent on maintaining its use of power to intimidate and stifle critics.
On July 31, a coalition of attorneys general led by New York’s Letitia James asked the Fifth Circuit to lift the injunction. They said it was essential to protect locals from potentially dangerous media.
The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that Missouri v. Biden will have oral arguments on August 10.