A federal judge issued a court order Tuesday, ruling that the Biden Administration likely violated First Amendment rights when it collaborated with social media companies in an effort to censor oppositional views.
The Washington Post reported that Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana called the censorship “Orwellian” and stated that Republican Attorneys General of Louisiana and Missouri had “produced evidence of a mass effort by Defendants from the White House through federal agencies to suppress speech on the basis of its content.”
The New York Times reported that Doughty prohibited members of the Biden Administration — including officials from the Department of Health and Human Services and Federal Bureau of Investigation — to communicate with social media companies “for the purpose of encouraging, pressing, or inducing, in any way, the removal, deletion or suppression of protected free speech content.”
The outlet stated that while this preliminary injunction prohibits officials from communicating with social media platforms for the purpose censoring other viewpoints, they are still permitted to inform platforms about crime, foreign propaganda, or threats to national safety.
Washington Post reported that the lawsuit claimed Biden administration officials had “gone too far” to suppress discussions on topics such as vaccines and election security. The outlet reported that the lawsuit described censorship of speech as “the most egregious First Amendment violations in the history of United States of America.”
Although Doughty did not make a final decision in this case, the injunction could stop the coordination that has been going on for years between the government and social media firms. Biden administration officials claim it is essential to national security.