John Daniel Davidson urges Federalist readers to readjust their thinking about the nation’s highest court.

The Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling in Murthy v. Missouri dropped Wednesday, shattering the hopes of conservatives that maybe, just maybe, the Judicial Branch would stand up for the First Amendment rights of ordinary Americans against the egregious abuses of the executive bureaucracy.

But no. The Court instead ruled that the plaintiffs lacked standing because the Biden White House allegedly backed off of its censorship campaign after the 2022 midterms (it didn’t). The ruling essentially allows the federal government to continue trampling on the First Amendment rights of ordinary Americans by deputizing social media companies to do what federal agencies cannot do directly: police what Americans are allowed to say online.

If this result shocks you, if you’re surprised and outraged that the Supreme Court, which you thought was dominated by a solid conservative majority, you shouldn’t be. If you thought the supposedly conservative majority on the Court was going to check the worst impulses of the executive branch and restore the constitutional rights of Americans, you shouldn’t have. If you reposed your hope for the survival of the American republic in five or six black-robed justices who would stand athwart the tyranny of the administrative state and the collapse of our political institutions, you can say goodbye to all that. The Supreme Court is not going to save America.

And just to be clear, neither is Donald Trump. In fact, the Court’s ruling makes it all the more likely that Trump won’t even get the chance, because it gives the Biden administration a greenlight to ramp up a speech suppression campaign ahead of the November election through “censorship by surrogate,” in the memorable phrase of constitutional law attorney Jonathan Turley.

But whatever happens in November, the Court’s failure to protect the free speech rights of Americans against censorship by the government should be a wake-up call for all of us.