Supreme Court Rejects Challenge to Biden Regime’s Social Media ‘Censorship Enterprise’

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a group of social media users and two states lacked the legal standing to challenge the Biden administration’s efforts to censor social media content that officials claimed was misinformation.

Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and Brett Kavanaugh joined the three liberals on the court—Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan,  Ketanji Brown Jackson—in the 6-3 decision. 

The case, brought by former Missouri Attorney General, now Senator Eric Schmitt (R), former Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) and five people whose social media accounts were censored, argued that the Biden regime had violated the First Amendment and unconstitutionally stifled their speech when it directed social media companies to take down posts and ban social media accounts.

The AGs brought the case in 2022, calling the Biden regime’s efforts a “censorship enterprise” that involved “dozens of federal officials across at least eleven federal agencies” who communicated with social-media platforms to suppress private speech that federal officials disfavored.

The Court ruled that a lower court had erred when it issued an injunction limiting how the Biden regime—specifically the White House; the Office of the Surgeon General; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); the FBI; and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)—could collude with social media companies.

The decision, authored by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, maintained that Missouri failed to prove that it was directly harmed by the Biden regime’s censorship efforts. Barrett wrote that while the regime did contact social media companies and directed them to take down posts, they were also consulting other “outside experts about how to moderate posts.”

One such group of “outside experts” was the recently disbanded Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), which advised fifteen social media platforms for five years and was behind the censorship of true or debatable information about COVID-19, the mRNA vaccines, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and the 2020 election.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) coordinated with Stanford and three other groups to create an “Election Integrity Partnership” (EIP) in the summer of 2020.

“This evidence indicates that the platforms had independent incentives to moderate content and often exercised their own judgment. To be sure, the record reflects that the Government defendants played a role in at least some of the platforms’ moderation choices,” Barrett wrote. “But the Fifth Circuit, by attributing every platform decision at least in part to the defendants, glossed over complexities in the evidence.”

In the dissenting opinion, Justice Alito wrote “this is one of the most important free speech cases to reach this Court in years.”

He added: “Freedom of speech serves many valuable purposes, but its most important role is protection of speech that is essential to democratic self-government … and speech that advances humanity’s store of knowledge, thought, and expression in fields such as science, medicine, history, the social sciences, philosophy, and the arts.”

Alito argued that  “the speech at issue falls squarely into those categories.”

I assume that a fair portion of what social media users had to say about COVID–19 and the pandemic was of little lasting value. Some was undoubtedly untrue or misleading, and some may have been downright dangerous. But we now know that valuable speech was also suppressed.

In many cases, particularly throughout the pandemic, social media platforms censored factual information that contradicted false government narratives.

In response to the decision, George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley wrote on X  that free speech protections are now left “to the political system.”

“This is why free speech should be the central issue in this presidential election,” he said.

Jay Bhattacharya, one of the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement on X that the Court’s ruling “means that the Administration can censor ideas and no person will have standing to enforce the 1st Amendment. Free speech in America, for the moment, is dead.”

He added: “And since it was petty bureaucrats doing the censoring at the behest of elected officials, voters should ask every candidate for office down to dog catcher where they stand on the power of government to censor. Let’s make it a political liability to favor censorship.”

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) vowed to keep fighting against the regime’s censorship enterprise.

“My office filed suit against dozens of officials in the federal government to stop the biggest violation of the First Amendment in our nation’s history,” he said in a statement posted on X.

The record is clear: the deep state pressured and coerced social media companies to take down truthful speech simply because it was conservative. Today’s ruling does not dispute that. My rallying cry to disappointed Americans is this: Missouri is not done.

We are going back to the district court to obtain more discovery in order to root out Joe Biden’s vast censorship enterprise once and for all.

In a subsequent post, Bailey added that “all legal options are on the table” to deal with the regime’s ever-evolving censorship efforts.

“Censorship has evolved even since we filed Missouri v. Biden,” he wrote. “We are pushing forward undeterred with this case. But we will also adapt to the ever-changing battlefield of unconstitutional Leftist lawfare. All legal options are on the table.”

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.

Photo: Justices of the US Supreme Court pose for their official photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on October 7, 2022. (Seated from left) Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Samuel Alito and Associate Justice Elena Kagan, (Standing behind from left) Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

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