The New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has made a big decision that is making quite a stir. They have upheld a lower court's decision that puts some limits on what the federal government can do with social media companies. Missouri v. Biden was the name of the case. It was first decided by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Because of the ruling by the Fifth Circuit, the White House, the Surgeon General, the CDC, and the FBI are now limited in how they can use social media.
Federal Court Upholds Landmark Free Speech Case Banning US Government from Big Tech Censorshiphttps://t.co/Y7py4sFZ5T
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) September 11, 2023
This decision is a win for the First Amendment and the right to free speech. Andrew Bailey, who is the attorney general of Missouri, was happy about the ruling because, he said, it protects the rights of millions of Americans. Bailey also said that the White House was pressuring social media companies to limit what people can say, which is a clear violation of the First Amendment. The court agreed, too!
Here the Court points out that Joe Biden’s staff used the power of his Office to coerce media companies into censoring speech pic.twitter.com/KD5bHflI0y
— Attorney General Andrew Bailey (@AGAndrewBailey) September 9, 2023
The three-judge panel, made up of Republican appointees Edith Brown Clement, Don Willett, and Jennifer Walker Elrod, made it clear that the government was putting pressure on social media sites to shut down ideas they didn't agree with. This covers things like Covid-19's health policies, the origins of the pandemic, election security, and even Hunter Biden. It was decided that these officials' acts went against the First Amendment.
This case is very important because it deals with how much power the government should have over what we can say online. The court's decision is similar to an earlier one that criticized the Biden administration for creating a "Orwellian Ministry of Truth." Even though the court doesn't want to limit the government's freedom of speech too much, it did put some limits on how some federal departments and officials can use online platforms.
Overall, this is a big win for free speech and a warning that the government should never be able to silence the opinions of its own people. The First Amendment is an important way to protect our democracy, so it's good to see the courts support it.