by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The bedrock of American democracy, the First Amendment, prohibits Congress from making laws “abridging the freedom of speech.” The Supreme Court has repeatedly applied this prohibition to executive actions, as well.
The Biden administration’s campaign to censor, demonetize, and suppress dissenting voices on social media is much broader than previously known, as demonstrated by an amended complaint filed last month in federal district court in the case of Missouri v. Biden. The complaint, by the Louisiana and Missouri attorneys general along with the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of leading health-care professionals, provides strong evidence of the administration’s vigorous campaign to coerce and collude with social-media companies in suppressing and deplatforming criticism of the administration as well as views with which it disagrees on subjects such as Covid, elections, the Hunter Biden laptop, and climate change, among others.
The evidence shows that at least 80 senior officials have participated in a concerted federal enterprise involving at least eleven federal agencies, including the White House, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of the Surgeon General, Census Bureau, and FBI. The manifestly unconstitutional public–private partnership between the administration and Big Tech disregards Chief Justice Warren Burger’s warning that it is “axiomatic that a state may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”
Responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and emails produced in discovery show that White House, DHS, and HHS officials flagged specific content and examples of content for censorship, including factually accurate dissenting views, under the guise of suppressing “domestic terrorism.”
To impede discovery, the White House asserted privilege. On September 6, federal district-court judge Terry A. Doughty rejected the government’s claims. …