During the COVID regime, the government assumed the power to dictate to social media companies which messages could get out and which ones could not. To facilitate this, they set up ‘disinformation’ offices in many government departments, including ones that would not normally be involved in policing speech like the Treasury Department and the U.S. Census.
This free speech suppression apparatus worked to flag posts, tweets, messages, for deletion, ‘shadow banning’ and outright suppression and deletion. The government had a regular meeting and email traffic with leaders from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google, where they decided what was acceptable for Americans to think and say in the digital world.
The deep state abused this power to silence dissent on topics like the Hunter Biden Laptop from Hell, 2020 Election Integrity, COVID-19 origin and extent skepticism, COVID-19 vaccine skepticism, among other issues.
Very minor comments and accounts were targeted. Accounts with very low ‘reach’ were subject to suppression. The government went after accounts with large followings like Emerald Robinson and even deleting interviews with dissidents like Dr. Robert Malone, but they also went after people who had few, if any, followers.
On behalf of the Ukrainian government, the United States government even directed social media companies to suppress criticism by Americans talking to one another on social media of the war in Ukraine.
To fight back, Gateway Pundit Publisher Jim Hoft and others, working alongside the Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, filed suit to stop the government from exercising this power. The government claims it is simply policing “misinformation” and “disinformation” and contends that it can be trusted to responsibly wield this power. The government also claims that thoughts and ideas are battlegrounds where it is authorized to fight, a frightening argument.
“If the government gets to have this power, there is no first amendment,” said TGP Publisher Jim Hoft. “The scope and scale of what this entails, being able to pick and choose which facts, news, stories, narratives, gets to exist is the worst nightmare come true from all of our science fiction warning of this day. We’re witnessing the death of the first amendment in real time.”
This is the most important first amendment case in a decade.
The case was filed by the courageous Attorney Generals of Missouri Andrew Bailey and Louisiana‘s Jeff Landry, in May 2022. By June 2022, the case was involved in discovery and the revelations started coming out that the first amendment was being daily dissected by the deep state. By August 2022, TGP Publisher Jim Hoft became the lead Plaintiff in the case, joined by a wide variety of free speech advocates filing as amici friends of the Plaintiff.
Then in November 2022, the government filed a Motion to Dismiss the case. Then in late March 2023, the trial court gave the Plaintiffs a win by surviving a summary judgment motion by the government.
And in an explosive and symbolic ruling, the trial court issued an injunction on the 4th of July stating that since the Plaintiffs were likely to prevail at trial, the court was hereby ordering the government to stop silencing speech on social media.
The government immediately appealed to the 5th Circuit to protect their right to silence political speech they dislike. The 5th Circuit via Judges Stewart, Graves, and Oldham, a Circuit notorious for deferring to the government on almost every issue, allowed the government to silence political speech they dislike pending the outcome of their appeal. But then on September 8, 2023, the 5th Circuit ruled that the injunction was proper and denied the government most of the relief they sought. In their ruling, the federal appellate court said that the FBI and other government agencies clearly coerced social media companies into deleting content, posts, messages, that the government disliked about COVID, vaccines, Hunter Biden, voter fraud, among other topics.
The government has made an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States. The 5th Circuit then added CISA as another agency that was bound to the injunction preventing the government from continuing to suppress political speech.
This week the Fifth Circuit via three of its Judges Clement, Willett, Elrod, hearing an appeal pushed by the government in the case of Missouri v. Biden, not only denied the government’s request to stop the enforcement of a trial court order precluding the government from continuing to police speech online, it actually expanded that injunction to also include the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, “CISA”, which was instrumental in covering up 2020 election fraud and ensuring that it could not be spoken on social media.
One of the attorneys in the case, John Sauer, told the Gateway Pundit, “The Court expanded the injunction to include CISA but still vacated the provision referring to the EIP. That’s a great outcome and a big improvement!”
It was an unmistakable statement by the typically pro-government 5th Circuit that the messages and communications they reviewed, that were produced as part of the legal discovery in the Missouri v. Biden case, were extremely troubling and represented systemic efforts by government agents to silence citizen’s political speech.
Today the government through Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar filed it’s THIRD supplemental memorandum to the Supreme Court asking it to ‘stay’ or otherwise order the 5th Circuit not to enforce, the prohibition against policing online speech. Meaning that the government is now desperately asking the Supreme Court for the right to keep policing citizen speech.
You can read yesterday’s filing by the government, in full, here.
Key to the government’s argument is that they are merely providing examples of disinformation that social media companies can freely choose whether or not to silence and suppress.
Yet the trial court has already demonstrated that the government was clearly coercing these companies into compliance.
This speech suppression even extended to deep state disfavored politicians: In August 2021, YouTube suspended Sen. Rand Paul for saying masks didn’t work against COVID, a claim we now know is true.
The government worked hand-in-hand not only crafting these speech suppression policies, but they also alerted the companies to specific content they wanted removed. Here are but a few examples.
The 2020 Trump coup was critically reliant on this control by deep state operatives to ensure that the wrong story didn’t get out, or if it did, that it didn’t get too much traction. From this position of power the swamp could ensure that political speech and political criticism was silenced in near-real-time.
Stories about the truth about 2020 voter fraud, about January 6th, were all ripe for suppression and deletion by this elite part of the government busily policing the nation’s speech.
This case has already involved the depositions of Anthony Fauci and the FBI’s Elvis Chan, who coordinated the FBI’s effort to suppress conservative speech on social media. Daniel Kimmage who did the same on behalf of the State Department. Brian Scully from CISA. Eric Waldo of the Surgeon General’s office and Carol Crawford of the Centers for Disease Control, “CDC”, who coordinated COVID so-called ‘misinformation.’
The case has also generated, according to attorneys involved, tens of thousands of emails and gigabytes of discovery from the government that indicate a wide apparatus being constructed to police and silence dissenting speech.
The mainstream media has dishonestly portrayed the case as one where Biden’s power to ‘combat disinformation’ has been hurt by the courts. Nowhere does the media admit that the case stops government censorship and the suppression of views.
Here Cat Zakrzewski at the Washington Post dishonestly claimed it was about putting “limits on social media.”
Here Jessica Guynn and John Fritze at USA Today dishonestly claims it was just about limited election ‘disinformation’ which is limiting it to one topic out of many, and minimizing the fact the case is about overt government censorship of specific speakers, when they say in the lead paragraph, the case would stop Biden from being able to “remove or suppress the spread of online content about elections.”
The case is 3:22-CV-1213 at the trial court in the Western District of Louisiana, and the appeal is 23-30445 in the 5th Circuit, and case number 23A243 before the U.S. Supreme Court. The next action is when the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether or not to grant ‘writ’ meaning to hear the case being appealed.