United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana on Monday denied the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss a suit brought by Republican Attorneys General Erik Schmitt of Missouri and Jeff Landry of Louisiana. Schmitt now serves in the U.S. Senate.
Plaintiffs argued the Biden administration colluded with social media companies to censor debate on multiple issues, including the 2020 presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Plaintiffs have plausibly alleged joint action, entwinement, and/or that specific features of Defendants’ actions combined to create state action,” the judge wrote in his decision.
“Plaintiffs have clearly and plausibly alleged that Defendants engaged in viewpoint discrimination and prior restraints. As discussed in great detail above, Plaintiffs allege a regime of censorship that targets specific viewpoints deemed mis-, dis-, or malinformation by federal officials,” Doughty added.
“Because Plaintiffs allege that Defendants are targeting particular views taken by speakers on a specific subject, they have alleged a clear violation of the First Amendment, i.e., viewpoint discrimination. Moreover, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants, by placing bans, shadow-bans, and other forms of restrictions on Plaintiffs’ social-media accounts, are engaged in de facto prior restraints, another clear violation of the First Amendment.”
Subscribe to our evening newsletter to stay informed during these challenging times!!