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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito extended an appeals court ruling that had halted a lower court’s decision to prevent President Joe Biden’s administration from requesting that social media companies remove information that federal officials deemed “misinformation.”
“The decision to keep the matter on hold gives the court more time to consider the administration’s request to block an injunction issued by a lower court that had concluded that federal officials likely had violated the free speech protections of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment by coercing social media platforms into censoring certain posts,” Reuters reported.
“Alito’s order pauses the dispute until Sept. 27 at 11:59 p.m. EDT. He had previously halted the lower court’s ruling through Sept. 22,” the outlet noted further. “Alito is the justice designated by the court to act on certain matters arising from a group of states that include Louisiana, where the lawsuit was first filed.”
The Daily Wire reported in July that Chief U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty, a Trump appointee, issued an injunction prohibiting Biden administration officials from communicating with social media firms, which was considered a significant First Amendment victory.
Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), a former state attorney general, filed the complaint, alleging that government officials tried to exert undue influence over these platforms, stifling views that differed from the administration’s.
“White House officials, CDC & others are stopped cold. We need to continue the fight to take down the Vast Censorship Enterprise,” Schmitt tweeted following the decision. “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.”
Schmitt brought the case as Missouri’s attorney general before being elected to the Senate last year.
“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,” Schmitt said, calling the decision a “[b]ig win for the First Amendment on this Independence Day.”
Doughty did allow for some circumstances.
According to the Washington Post, he will empower government officials to contact social media companies to notify them of posts containing “criminal activity or criminal conspiracies,” “national security threats, extortion, or other threats,” and crimes relating to US elections.
“Many expect the ruling to disrupt years of collaboration between tech companies and the government, especially in addressing illegal activities and interference in elections. The injunction applies to various executive agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, prohibiting them from pressuring social media platforms into removing, suppressing, or reducing the visibility of content protected by the First Amendment,” the outlet added.
The Republican attorneys general who joined Schmitt in the lawsuit argued that frequent government contact with social media companies violated the First Amendment while raising concerns about antitrust issues and efforts to repeal Section 230 protections.
Reuters added: “The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated much of an injunction that Doughty issued restricting the administration’s social media communications, with the exception of a provision concerning coercion, which they narrowed.”
“The narrowed injunction applied to the White House, the surgeon general, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the FBI, saying they could not ‘coerce or significantly encourage’ the companies to remove content,” Reuters noted further.
The Supreme Court has been a thorn in President Joe Biden’s side, ruling frequently against his agenda.
However, the Supreme Court appears poised to derail Biden’s plans to move the country to the far left even further.
Meanwhile, the Court will hear a number of cases this fall that offer promising chances to restrain the federal administrative state.
The court has agreed to rule on cases that contest the constitutionality of an agency funding scheme that is exempt from the congressional appropriations process and regular congressional oversight, as well as the practice of federal courts extending judicial deference to agency interpretations of the laws they are tasked with enforcing.
The court also agreed to hear a case that could bring back the jury trial to a class of civil cases that are currently handled solely by judges who work for administrative agencies.
One of the most important cases of the upcoming term may be SEC v. Jarkesy because it may reinstate the right to a jury trial in administrative civil cases.