In a ruling Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry called a "major win against censorship," the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed a lower court ruling Friday that the Biden administration and various federal agencies could not "coerce" social media platforms into removing information they considered problematic.
The case arose following the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw Biden, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FBI and the surgeon general threatening social media platforms with antitrust lawsuits and changes to liability protections if they didn't remove material the agencies considered false or damaging.
The states of Missouri and Louisiana, a conservative website owner, and four people opposed to the administration’s COVID-19 policy filed the lawsuit.
The unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel said the federal government "coerced the platforms to make their moderation decisions by way of intimidating messages and threats of adverse consequences" and "significantly encouraged the platforms’ decisions by commandeering their decision-making processes, both in violation of the First Amendment."
The federal government now has 10 days to decide whether to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Landry celebrated the decision on X, formerly Twitter, saying, "Fifth Circuit just unanimously affirmed Judge Doughty’s injunction against White House, CDC, FBI and others — giving Americans and #FreedomOfSpeech a major win against censorship, totalitarianism, and Biden. #FirstAmendment."
Fifth Circuit just unanimously affirmed Judge Doughty’s injunction against White House, CDC, FBI and others — giving Americans and #FreedomOfSpeech a major win against censorship, totalitarianism, and Biden. #FirstAmendment
— AG Jeff Landry (@AGJeffLandry) September 8, 2023
The court did throw out some language in the injunctions put in place by the lower court, however, saying that the prohibition stopping the administration from even asking social media companies to take down what it thinks is misinformation is "overly broad" and not necessary.
While the ruling is a great step, the Biden administration has shown its willingness to flout laws and court rulings it doesn't agree with.
It's entirely possible that Biden and his accomplices in the deep state will violate the injunction if a similar situation arises, such as damaging information about Biden that could impact the 2024 election.
There's a lot Biden has done that he should not have been able to do, and the courts would be bogged down for years or decades trying to punish him for it all.
It's one thing when a court overturns a law or strikes it down, but these injunctions only mean anything if they are punished when violated--a process that could take many more years to go through.
The only real remedy is to elect a Republican and clean house in federal agencies.
It will be necessary to get rid of all the partisans twisting and breaking laws where they usually don't fall under scrutiny unless whistleblowers come forward, if we are going to break the stranglehold the deep state has on the federal government once and for all.