The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit apparently decided that the federal government maintaining its Orwellian censorship collusion with Big Tech was more important than protecting Americans’ free speech.
Louisiana Chief District Judge Terry A. Doughty issued a preliminary July 4 injunction prohibiting President Joe Biden’s administration from “engag[ing] in any communication of any kind” with Big Tech platforms for the purpose of pushing censorship of constitutionally protected speech. That ruling had a shelf life of about 10 days. After Doughty initially denied the Biden administration's request for a stay on the injunction on July 10, the Fifth Circuit decided to step in for the president just four days later. The Court granted the DOJ a “temporary administrative stay” on Doughty’s injunction “until further orders of the court.” Free speech be damned.
MRC Free Speech America Vice President Dan Schneider remained confident that the Fifth Circuit would eventually do the right thing. “The preliminary injunction has only been ‘stayed.’ Think of it as a pit stop, not a reversal,” Schneider said. “The 5th Circuit will now review. I would still bet on the original decision to stand.”
The case at hand — Missouri v. Biden — blew the lid off the sheer magnitude of backdoor collaboration between government entities and Big Tech companies to stifle speech online that went against approved narratives. Doughty highlighted on page 154 of his initial ruling that the “evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario.” He added that during the COVID-19 pandemic the U.S. government “seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’” But apparently the First Amendment implications of an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth” at the highest levels of the federal government weren’t enough for the Fifth Circuit to leave the injunction in place.
Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO), who filed the initial lawsuit against the Biden administration along with Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), wrote in his March 30 testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that Biden “led the largest speech censorship operation in recent American history.” He continued: “Since taking office, President Biden and his team have labored to suppress viewpoints with which they disagree. And in so doing, they have infringed upon the individual freedoms of millions of Americans.” The lawsuit cited an MRC Free Speech America study that revealed that Big Tech platforms censored criticism of Biden online 646 times between March 10, 2020, and March 10, 2022. One-hundred and forty of those instances involved censorship of the infamous Hunter Biden laptop scandal.
“It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it,” proclaimed James Madison in Federalist No. 48. Apparently that line of thinking was lost on the Fifth Circuit when it decided to let Big Tech-Government collusion endure for the time being.
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