In a stunning rebuke of the Biden Administration, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that its actions to censor opinions it didn’t like during the Covid pandemic were akin to an “Orwellian Ministry Of Truth.”
US District Judge Terry Doughty of Louisiana noted that the administration likely violated the First Amendment as Republican attorneys general from Missouri and Louisiana produced evidence of “a massive effort by Defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content.”
Sen. Eric Schmitt, former AG of Missouri, described this egregious censorship enterprise with outrage:
“This is not just suppression of opposing viewpoints but rather a blatant violation of our most precious constitutional rights.”
Indeed, not only were Covid-related topics suppressed but also questions regarding the results of the 2020 election and even information surrounding Hunter Biden’s laptop story – all topics which would have put those in power in unfavorable positions.
It is clear then that this was an attempt to silence conservative voices and prevent any pushback against liberal policies.
This ruling serves as an important reminder for those who value freedom – no government has the right to control what we can say or hear.
Doug Billings responded to the report: “We must remain vigilant in defending our right to free expression and holding those in power accountable when they seek to erode these fundamental liberties.”
White House officials, CDC & others are stopped cold. We need to continue the fight to take down the Vast Censorship Enterprise.
Their view of “misinformation” isn’t an excuse to censor. This is the most important free speech case in a generation.
Freedom is on the march
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) July 4, 2023
“The censorship in this case almost exclusively targeted conservative speech,” Judge Doughty noted, but further emphasising that the censorship efforts go “beyond party lines.”
“The evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario,” Doughty wrote, adding “During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”
“Viewpoint discrimination is an especially egregious form of content discrimination,” Doughty further wrote, ruling “The government must abstain from regulating speech when the specific motivating ideology or the perspective of the speaker is the rationale for the restriction.”
Specifically pointing to officials within the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the judge issued an injunction stating that they should be barred from communicating with social media companies for “the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”
Doughty outlined that the only exceptions for Biden officials to have contact with social media companies would be over posts concerning “criminal activity or criminal conspiracies,” “national security threats, extortion, or other threats.”
The New York Times complained that the ruling “could curtail efforts to fight disinformation.”
Breaking News: A judge limited Biden administration officials from contacting social media sites, a ruling that could curtail efforts to fight disinformation.https://t.co/y9jmV0BU7d
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 4, 2023