The Biden administration’s efforts to limit dissent may be taken to the Supreme Court after a federal appeals court ruled that the administration’s actions violated the First Amendment.
“The main focus of this case is to stop the extensive and established practice of government actors and platforms communicating about content moderation in certain areas,” Stanford Law professor Evelyn Douek told The Hill. “An unclear rule has the potential to discourage a wide range of ongoing, established practices.”
The appeals court ruled on Friday that federal agencies must not force social media platforms to censor speech that the government dislikes.
President Joe Biden’s Justice Department is considering asking the Supreme Court to review the appeals court decision.
The Biden administration has attempted to combat misinformation on social media, but the Twitter Files and the Facebook Files from House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have revealed extensive government efforts to encourage social media to censor information, which two Republican attorneys general argue is an unconstitutional tactic that violates the First Amendment.
The GOP attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for its “campaign of censorship,” where it “coordinated and colluded with social media platforms to identify disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content.”
Friday’s appeals ruling “significantly narrowed” the restrictions imposed on the Biden administration, according to David Greene of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as reported by The Hill.
“Indeed, many of those officials were permissibly exercising government speech, ‘carrying out [their] responsibilities,’ or merely ‘engaging in [a] legitimate action,'” the ruling stated.
The Supreme Court could be asked to resolve the discrepancies, Douek explained.
“It feels like there’s kind of an anchoring effect going on here, where the district court ruling was so broad that when the court of appeals comes in and narrows it, it may seem reasonable in comparison,” she told The Hill. “But it’s still quite extensive in many ways.”
Louisiana GOP Attorney General Jeff Landry wants the case to go to trial.
“We are determined to bring this to trial so that the victims are vindicated and we can prevent this gross abuse of power from ever happening again, especially in a time of crisis when information is most important,” Landry told The Hill.
Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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