Editors at National Review Online dissect one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s final decisions for this year’s term.

Not every scandal is a crime or a lawsuit. The Supreme Court threw out a blockbuster lawsuit against the Biden administration over social-media censorship in Murthy v. Missouri. Whether or not it was right to do so, its dismissal of the case on standing grounds was driven by understandable concern about judicial overreach. But what the case revealed was nonetheless a scandal. The Biden administration should be held politically accountable for its pervasive and illiberal campaign to silence the speech of its domestic enemies. Moreover, Congress can and should consider legislation to rein in the abuse of the executive branch in this fashion in the future. If Democrats are actually as afraid of an authoritarian second Trump administration as they claim, they should support such reforms.  

The plaintiffs in Murthy substantiated with a voluminous evidentiary record running hundreds of pages a multi-year campaign during this administration to suppress the speech of American citizens. Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent, which only scratches the surface of the evidence, makes for damning reading. All the way from the president, who publicly accused Facebook of “killing people,” to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, to the surgeon general (who purported to issue a “health advisory” against “misinformation”), to White House officials who hectored the social-media giants in private emails and phone calls on a daily basis, the entire ethos of this administration has been bent toward silencing rather than addressing those it accused of “misinformation” about Covid and elections. Some of the administration’s targets, such as stolen-election conspiracists and peddlers of genuine falsehoods about vaccines, may not be the most sympathetic characters, but then, free-speech cases are often won by eccentrics, oddballs, and people on the fringes of truth and decency.