Appeals court deals further blow to Joe Biden's censorship scheming

October 3, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday dealt a further blow to Joe Biden's scheming to coordinate with social media companies to censor the comments and ideas of Americans who don't agree with his agenda.

Officials with the New Civil Liberties Alliance revealed that the appeals court granted their petition for a panel rehearing and added the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to the preliminary injunction in Missouri v. Biden.

That lawsuit drew an original trial court ruling that banned multiple federal arms from working with social media companies to censor Americans. Constitutionally, the government cannot censor speech, but the scheme apparently involved Biden officials telling private organizations to lobby social media for the same result.

That's been a common practice in the Biden administration, with targets including messages that questioned the integrity of the 2020 election, COVID mandates, and much, much more.

Other agencies already barred from the censorship campaigns include the White House, the Surgeon General's office, the CDC, and the FBI.

"The Fifth Circuit’s new action expands upon its September 8 ruling that upheld the most important portions of U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s July 4 preliminary injunction order, prohibiting those officials from pressuring social media companies to suppress First Amendment-protected speech," the organization reported.

The plaintiffs, including Drs. Bhattacharya, Kulldorff and Kheriaty, and Ms. Hines, had been "blacklisted, shadow-banned, de-boosted, throttled, and censored" on social media as part of the Biden Administration’s years-long censorship campaign.

The NCLA reported, "The Fifth Circuit recognized that the Plaintiffs did 'not challenge the social-media platforms' content-moderation policies,' instead challenging the government’s unlawful efforts to influence “enforcement of those policies.” The government gravely harmed the ability of NCLA’s clients to convey their views to the public, and it deprived Americans of their right to hear opinions that differ from the government’s. Judge Doughty strikingly described the Administration’s conduct as 'arguably the most massive attack against free speech in United States history and 'akin to an Orwellian Ministry of Truth.'"

The court found: "CISA—working in close connection with the FBI—held regular industry meetings with the platforms concerning their moderation policies, pushing them to adopt CISA’s proposed practices for addressing ‘mis-, dis-, and mal-information.'"

It found that CISA acted "as an intermediary for third parties by forwarding flagged content.”

The decision reversed the 5th Circuit's earlier finding that CISA was just "information sharing."

"NCLA is pleased the Fifth Circuit has recognized that it erred in letting CISA—one of the worst violators of Americans’ First Amendment rights—off the hook, and we’re glad that CISA is now included in the injunction prohibiting censorship. We look forward to vindicating our clients’ rights in the Supreme Court, which we are confident will also recognize the egregious and intolerable nature of the government’s conduct," said Jenin Younes, litigation counsel for NCLA.

The case is expected to move to the Supreme Court.

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