Why is Biden so worried about this? Something smells fishy.
A recent report by Bloomberg states that a federal judge in Louisiana has rejected a request from the Biden administration to postpone a previous order he issued.
According to Newsmax, The order, issued on July 4, prohibits federal officials from engaging in communication with social media companies. U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty denied the administration’s appeal for a delay on Monday.
The nationwide injunction blocked various government agencies and officials from contacting social media companies in a manner that would influence the removal or suppression of content containing protected free speech. The judge, who was nominated to the bench by former President Donald Trump, also turned down the government’s alternative request for a seven-day pause while they seek intervention from the appeals court.
Bloomberg reports that the Justice Department is expected to seek assistance from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The DOJ had argued that Doughty’s order was unclear and broad in its definition of prohibited communication with tech companies. The judge responded by stating that the government did not warrant a delay in enforcing the order, as they were likely to lose the case on its merits. Doughty also noted that the DOJ failed to provide specific examples of government activities that would be impacted in the interim.
In his order, the judge clarified that the injunction only restricted the Defendants from contacting social media companies with the purpose of influencing the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech. He emphasized that the order contained several exceptions. Last week, Doughty determined that the government’s attempts to persuade tech companies to curb the spread of misinformation and fake accounts, particularly during the pandemic, likely violated the First Amendment.
While the Biden administration intends to challenge the judge’s 155-page opinion, they are seeking a hold on the ban in the meantime. Doughty’s order prohibits numerous agencies and their employees from pressuring or inducing social media companies to restrict or remove content protected by the First Amendment’s free speech provisions. However, the judge made allowances for communications related to criminal activity, national security threats, election integrity matters, and other permissible forms of public government speech.