Supreme Court Tosses Case Over Biden Coercion Of Social Media

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Jun 26, 2024 - 09:54 PM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday tossed a case claiming that the Biden administration unlawfully coerced social media companies into removing content and banning users based on political views.

In a 6-3 decision, the Court found that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue - as opposed to tossing the case on merit - just like the vast majority of election fraud cases which didn't make it past lower courts.

Clearly it was easier to punt this one than focus on the mountain of evidence that the Biden administration and US intelligence agencies were directly pressuring social media platforms to censor free speech disfavorable to the regime.

GOP attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, along with five social media users, filed the underlying lawsuit claiming that US government officials exceeded their authority by pressuring social media platforms to moderate content. The individual plaintiffs include Harvard's Martin Kulldorff and Stanford's Jay Bhattacharya, as well as Gateway Pundit owner Jim Hoft.

The laws sought to prevent social media companies from banning users based on their political views, even if users violate platform policies.

The lawsuit included various claims relating to activities that occurred in 2020 and before, including efforts to deter the spread of false information about Covid and the presidential election. Donald Trump was president at the time, but the district court ruling focused on actions taken by the government after President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

In July last year, Louisiana-based U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty barred officials from “communication of any kind with social-media companies urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.” -NBC News

“If the allegations made by plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history,” wrote Doughty. “The plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the government has used its power to silence the opposition.”

Dozens of people and agencies were bound by the injunction including President Biden, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, the Treasury Department, State Department, the US Election Assistance Commission, the FBI and entire Justice Department, and the Department of Health and Human Services. 

Bhattacharya and Kulldorff, who are among the originators of the Great Barrington Declaration that denounced the lockdown regime, have been victims of social media censorship. For example, the pair says their censorship-triggering statements included assertions that "thinking everyone must be vaccinated is scientifically flawed," questioning the value of masks, and stating that natural immunity is stronger than vaccine immunity. 

While the case was dominated by Covid-19 censorship, it also encompasses the Justice Department's efforts to suppress reporting about Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell" in the run-up to the 2020 election. Doughty gave credence to that accusation. 

"The evidence thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario," wrote Doughty in a 155-page ruling. "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 White House defendants made it very clear to social-media companies what they wanted suppressed and what they wanted amplified," wrote Doughty. "Faced with unrelenting pressure from the most powerful office in the world, the social-media companies apparently complied."

Doughty quoted communications from administration officials to social media company employees, saying they represent "examples of coercion exercised by the White House defendants." Here's a small sampling:

  • "Cannot stress the degree to which this needs to be resolved immediately. Please remove this account immediately.”
  • To Facebook: “Are you guys fucking serious? I want an answer on what happened here and I want it today.” 
  • “This is a concern that is shared at the highest (and I mean highest) levels of the WH”
  • “Hey folks, wanted to flag the below tweet and am wondering if we can get moving on the process of having it removed. ASAP

The judge also noted that the badgering came simultaneous with threats of changing the social media regulation scheme, and that those threats had extra credibility since they came as the Democrats controlled the White House and Congress. 

On appeal the New Orleans-Based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed the scope of Doughty's injunction, however it still required the White House, FBI and top health officials not to "coerce or significantly encourage" social media companies to remove content considered to be misinformation in a practice known as "jawboning" - in which the government pressures private parties to do its bidding, sometimes with the implicit threat of negative consequences if its demands aren't met.