A federal judge used the best of all days to remind the Biden administration of what freedom means — Tuesday, July 4, the 247th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Chief Judge Terry A. Doughty, sitting on the of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, signed a preliminary injunction blocking key Biden administration agencies from communicating or working with Big Tech to censor on social media posts.
Citing "substantial evidence" of government censorship, he wrote that the "evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario. 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.'"
The affected agencies include the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This came out of a lawsuit filed in May 2022 by the Missouri and Louisiana attorneys general, who alleged that the president and administration officials caused statements on subjects like COVID-19, election integrity, and other issues to be suppressed in the name of combating "misinformation."
Ironically, most of those suppressed statements proved to be accurate.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican, responded to the judge's order in a statement he released Tuesday.
"Today, we won an historic injunction against the Biden Administration, preventing it from censoring the core political speech of ordinary Americans on social media," said Landry.
"The evidence in our case is shocking and offensive with senior federal officials deciding that they could dictate what Americans can and cannot say on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms about COVID-19, elections, criticism of the government. and more."
Not only was the evidence "shocking and offensive," the administration made little attempt to hide what it was doing. This suggests it saw no issue with government censorship.
Two years ago, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the administration was "flagging" social media posts for censoring.
"We're flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation," she said. This was no big deal to them, apparently.
At about the same time, the administration confirmed that it had established what it called a Disinformation Governance Board, which was being administered by the Department of Homeland Security. It was also founded to go after what it believed was dis- and misinformation.
It was allegedly dissolved four months later at the recommendation of the Homeland Security Advisory Council following Republican backlash.
But these instances were far from unique.
When the plaintiffs filed their motion in March, they were able to illustrate "1,432 facts showing that top officials in the federal government are coercing and colluding with big tech social media companies to censor free speech," Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said in statement.
Nonetheless, some mainstream media outlets, which should be the fiercest opponents of censorship, sided with the government on this one.
"A judge limited Biden administration officials from contacting social media sites, a ruling that could curtail efforts to fight disinformation," said The New York Times.
"Disinformation?" Again, in many, if not most cases, it was the administration that was spreading the "disinformation."
And CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig called the order the product of an "activist" judge.
"One of the most aggressive, far-reaching rulings you'll ever see," he said. "[He's] purporting to micromanage the day-to-day intersection between … the entire Executive Branch [& social media companies]."
It's actually the administration who was doing the "micromanaging" here.
Attorney General Bailey couldn't help but note the day that Judge Doughty signed his order.
"The Court has granted our motion to BLOCK top officials in the federal government from violating the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans," he tweeted.
"What a way to celebrate Independence Day."
Author Michael Shellenberger agreed.
"And once again, the United States stands up for the First Amendment," he said. "A huge victory in Missouri v. Biden — and on the Fourth of July!!!"
Some might see this as a small victory. But it's one in which the founders would approve — even more than hot dogs and fireworks.
Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.
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