Biden handed huge loss in 1st Amendment fight

September 13, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A federal appeals court has agreed with a lower court that the Biden administration likely can be proven to have pressured Big Tech to censor Americans whose views did not align with the Democrat talking points.

The result is that leftists en masse are trying to deny it, a sentiment expressed by the White House, which stated, "This administration has promoted responsible actions to protect public health, safety, and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our elections. Our consistent view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take account of the effects their platforms are having on the American people, but make independent choices about the information they present."

commentary from Tyler O'Neil at The Daily Signal explained that Biden was "CAUGHT RED-HANDED" by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

He explained Biden and his officials are" scrambling to deny the obvious truth that they pressured Big Tech to censor Americans. They have the gall to hide behind Big Tech companies and blame them for the censorship, as though the Biden administration didn’t pressure them into clamping down on free speech in the first place."

It was a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit that has blocked the government from using Big Tech to silence Americans, upholding the temporary injunction issued by U.S. District Court Judge Jerry Doughty.

The violations were of the most serious type. On "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins," the host explained, "I mean, this was damaging to the country. People were censored. People lost their jobs. There was so much that happened."

The case was initiated by Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Bailey explained, "This is all about protecting our constitutional right to free speech. The rights codified in the Bill of Rights come from God, not man. The purpose of the Constitution is to protect us from the government … [and] the First Amendment right to free speech is to invite … a marketplace of free ideas where we can disagree with the government."

He explained there are 20,000 pages of documents and "numerous depositions" explaining just how the White House demanded that social media corporations censor certain points of view during COVID.

The government appealed Doughty's injunction, and the Fifth Circuit wrote that the magnitude of the censorship enterprise conducted by the White House was worse than the "1798 Alien and Sedition Act, which President John Adams instituted to, as Bailey emphasized, 'jail and imprison anyone who opposed his foreign policy,'" the commentary explained.

The case has been described as addressing the worst First Amendment violations in American history.

Plaintiffs also include doctors who spoke out against COVID-19 mandates, such as Martin Kulldorff, Jayanta Bhattacharya, and Aaron Kheriaty; Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft; and Jill Hines, an anti-lockdown activist and co-director of Health Freedom Louisiana.

They charge that Biden "suppressed conservative-leaning free speech" on the scandal involving Hunter Biden's scandal-filled abandoned laptop, COVID-19, lockdowns, election integrity, the economy, and Joe Biden himself.

The panel ruling means the judges believe the plaintiffs are likely to succeed in ultimately proving their case and that ongoing federal government pressure on social media companies represents a threat of harm against them.

The injunction bars some federal officials from meeting with social media companies for the purpose of pressuring them to attack free speech.

Named are Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FBI, and the Justice Department, along with HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, and Biden.

The judges said, "The plaintiffs allege that federal officials ran afoul of the First Amendment by coercing and significantly pressuring 'social-media platforms to censor disfavored [speech],' including by 'threats of adverse government action' like antitrust enforcement and legal reforms. We agree."

The appeals court listed the actions by the president, his surgeon general, press secretary and others took "to pressure Big Tech to censor disfavored views."

According to a report from BizPacReview, the 5th Circuit gave Biden 10 days to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The unanimous court opinion did remove some federal agencies from the injunction restrictions.

The Washington Stand explained how the damage from Biden's agenda is continuing.

"The harm wasn’t frozen in time. … The harm is ongoing. … There’s a chilling effect on speech where now people are self-censoring."

He said, "It’s not just the [speakers] whose voices were silenced, [but also the listeners who] could have used that information to make individualized decisions, that were harmed."

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