by William A. Jacobson at legalinsurrection.com
“The Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition…. It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature…. [T]he evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario.”
We previously have covered the lawsuit brought by Missouri and Louisiana against the Biden administration regarding collusion with big tech platforms to silence mostly conservative voices.
After extensive pre-trial proceedings, the federal District Court has issued a Preliminary Injunction prohibiting further collusion. The Memorandum Decision is 155 pages. Most of it consists of extensive findings of fact and evidence of the collusion. Here are the key summary parts from the introduction and conclusion (emphasis added):
This case is about the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The explosion of social-media platforms has resulted in unique free speech issues— this is especially true in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history. In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment’s right to free speech.
Although the censorship alleged in this case almost exclusively targeted conservative speech, the issues raised herein go beyond party lines….
The Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition. Opposition to COVID-19 vaccines; opposition to COVID-19 masking and lockdowns; opposition to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19; opposition to the validity of the 2020 election; opposition to President Biden’s policies; statements that the Hunter Biden laptop story was true; and opposition to policies of the government officials in power. All were suppressed. It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate about the significant issues affecting the country.
Although this case is still relatively young, and at this stage the Court is only examining it in terms of Plaintiffs’ likelihood of success on the merits, the evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth.”721
721 An “Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth’” refers to the concept presented in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, ‘1984.’ In the novel, the Ministry of Truth is a governmental institution responsible for altering historical records and disseminating propaganda to manipulate and control public perception.