A federal court judge asked whether President Joe Biden and members of his administration have ever read “1984,” George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel about government-ordered censorship.
Judge Terry A. Doughty, chief district judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, is presiding over the Missouri v. Biden case that challenges whether the Biden administration colluded with Big Tech social media platforms to censor Americans. Judge Doughty was appointed by former President Donald Trump.
Although the transcript of the hearing is not available yet, Missouri Republican Attorney General Andrew Bailey shared some insightful pro-free speech snippets of the hearing on Twitter.
“The federal government had a hard time convincing a judge last week that it hasn’t been working with and coercing social media companies to censor free speech,” Bailey wrote.
“The judge asked the feds if they had ever read George Orwell’s 1984, pointing out the similarities between the case and the book,” he added.
Bailey also shared several hypotheticals Judge Doughty asked the Biden administration’s attorneys about whether certain questioning of government authority is protected speech.
“He asked if an American citizen questioning the safety or efficacy of masks or a vaccine was protected under the First Amendment,” Bailey recalled. “The feds’ answer? ‘It COULD be,’ but often won’t be.”
Other hypotheticals included speech pertaining to inflation and the 2020 presidential election. Instead of answering the questions directly, the president’s attorneys gave the common non-committal lawyer answer of “it depends.”
“The judge also asked Biden’s lawyers if the First Amendment covered Americans’ right to say that Biden is responsible for high gas prices and inflation,” Bailey added. “Their answer? It depends.”
But that wasn’t the only non-committal response. The feds responded similarly when asked about elections. “The judge also asked them if the First Amendment applied to Americans’ right to say that the 2020 election was stolen,” Bailey wrote. “Their answer? It depends.”
Bailey also tweeted that the judge appeared to suggest that conservatives were the target of the government’s speech suppression and censorship. “The judge also pointed out that it seemed to be only conservatives who are targeted for their speech, asking the feds if they could provide one example of a liberal who was censored due to ‘misinformation,’” Bailey wrote.
The Biden administration’s lawyers claimed one liberal was censored because the “that person was a political opponent of Joe Biden,” but the person’s identity was not revealed.
MRC Free Speech America has covered the lawsuit since it was filed. The pro-free speech case notably cites an MRC Free Speech America study that revealed social media platforms censored public criticism of Biden 646 times between March 10, 2020, and March 10, 2022.
In March of this year, Judge Doughty wrote that the one-sided social media censorship would continue unless stopped. Doughty wrote, "The threat of future censorship is substantial, and the history of past censorship is strong evidence that the threat of further censorship is not illusory or merely speculative." Judge Doughty continued, referring to the non-state plaintiffs who were censored for their views on the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines: "Their allegations are more than complaints of past wrongs."
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called hate speech and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.