MO and LA File Suit Against Biden Administration Over Collusion With Tech Giants to Suppress Free Speech

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

On Thursday, the states of Missouri and Louisiana filed suit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana against numerous Biden Administration officials and agencies alleging that they colluded with social media companies to suppress and censor free speech on several topics, including Hunter Biden’s “laptop from hell” and the Wuhan lab leak theory surrounding the origins of COVID-19.

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Those named as Defendants in the suit include:

  • President Joe Biden
  • Whitehouse Press Secretary Jen Psaki
  • Surgeon General Vivek Murthy
  • the Department of Health and Human Services
  • DHHS Secretary Xavier Becerra
  • the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
  • NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci
  • the Centers for Disease Control
  • the Department of Homeland Security
  • DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
  • the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Director of CISA Jen Easterly
  • and last, but not least, Nina Jankowicz, as Director of “the so-called ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ within the Department of Homeland Security”

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who’s been no stranger to taking on the Biden Administration, announced the suit in a Twitter thread:

Per Schmitt, the Complaint alleges that Biden as a candidate and later, through his administration, “colluded with and pressured social media giants Meta, Twitter, and Youtube to suppress and censor free speech.”  Examples set forth in the suit include Twitter’s censoring of the New York Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop and blocking of other Twitter users from sharing links to the story in October 2020 and Facebook’s (and other platforms’) aggressive censoring of speech concerning the Lab Leak Theory, beginning in February 2020.

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In a lengthy tweet thread, Schmitt also details the chronology of interactions between the Biden campaign (and then administration) and social media companies involving “disinformation” and “misinformation.”

The 86-page Complaint includes four counts: 1) Violation of the First Amendment (against all Defendants); 2) Action in Excess of Statutory Authority (against all Defendants); 3) Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (against the HHS Defendants); 4) Violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (against the DHS Defendants).

Schmitt’s office issued a press release regarding the suit. From the release:

“Big Tech has become an extension of Biden’s Big Government, and neither are protecting the freedoms of Americans; rather, they are suppressing truth and demonizing those who think differently,” said Attorney General Landry. “Ripped from the playbook of Stalin and his ilk, Biden has been colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech and propagandize the masses. We are fighting back to ensure the rule of law and prevent the government from unconstitutional banning, chilling, and stifling of speech.”

….

The lawsuit alleges that the federal government violated Missourians’, Louisianans’ and Americans’ First Amendment rights in colluding with social media companies to censor and suppress freedom of speech: “As alleged further herein, Defendants have coerced, threatened, and pressured social-media platforms to censor disfavored speakers and viewpoints by using threats of adverse government action. As alleged further herein, as a result of such threats, Defendants are now directly colluding with social-media platforms to censor disfavored speakers and viewpoints, including by pressuring them to censor certain content and speakers, and ‘flagging’ disfavored content and speakers for censorship. These actions violate the First Amendment.”

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Louisiana sits in the Fifth Circuit, which is generally favorable from a conservative standpoint. A federal judge in Louisiana recently issued an Order blocking the Biden Administration from lifting Title 42 immigration restrictions.

It’s premature to assess the viability of this latest challenge but it’s certainly another shot across the bow of the Biden Administration. Oh, and, Nina? Welcome to the fray!

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