Alito Criticizes Supreme Court for Upholding Biden’s Online Censorship

In a scathing dissent, Justice Samuel Alito blasted the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision favoring the Biden administration in the case of Murthy v. Missouri, where states and individuals sought to halt government censorship efforts online. Alito, along with Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, criticized the majority for allowing what he deemed as government coercion to suppress free speech.

The case revolved around the government’s requests to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to remove certain content related to COVID-19 and other contentious topics. Critics argued that these efforts targeted conservative viewpoints, leading to censorship of factual information. Alito condemned the White House’s actions as virtual demands that social media companies felt compelled to obey, painting a picture of subservience.

Alito pointed to internal emails from Facebook, highlighting what he saw as the platform’s submissive behavior in response to government pressure. He argued that plaintiffs, like Jill Hines from Health Freedom Louisiana, demonstrated a clear link between government influence and their censorship on social media. Alito advocated upholding the lower Court’s injunction against the government’s actions.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett authored the majority opinion, asserting that the plaintiffs failed to establish a direct connection between the government’s requests and the platforms’ independent content moderation decisions. The majority emphasized the platforms’ incentives for content moderation and their exercise of judgment in such matters.

Alito drew a parallel between the government’s actions in Murthy v. Missouri and a previous case involving the National Rifle Association (NRA), where the Court unanimously ruled against government efforts to suppress disfavored expression. He contended that the government’s behavior in the censorship case was subtly coercive and unconstitutional, warning of potential consequences for failing to address it decisively.

Written by Staff Reports

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