Speech Showdown – Dems Want Biden to Control Apps?!

(USNewsMag.com) – Attorneys general from 21 states have filed an appeal to block a ruling from a lower court that prohibits the Biden administration from censoring content on social media platforms.

The case began in May 2022, when attorneys general from Louisiana and Missouri sued the Biden administration, alleging government officials communicated with social media companies to censor speech over vaccines and the election.

U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty’s July 4 ruling, which limits communication between the Biden administration and social media companies, said “the First Amendment’s right to free speech” was “blatantly ignored” by the government’s attempts to control speech.

Currently, the ruling is on hold as the Biden administration has filed an appeal that says communication between the government and social media companies is necessary to keep users safe. The appeal is set to be heard by 5th Circuit Judges Don Willett, Edith Brown Clement, and Jennifer Walker Elrod on Aug. 10.

An amicus brief was then filed on July 28 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans by a group of Democratic attorneys general, which is being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. According to the AGs, states are also communicating with social media companies over content. The group says the lower court’s ruling is undermining the “government’s ability to keep Americans safe and secure online.”

The amicus brief states that it is beneficial for the government to communicate with social media companies to control speech, such as live streaming of certain events. However, the July 4 ruling did not block all communication with social media companies. It allows for communication regarding posts containing information on criminal activity, threats to national security, or criminal efforts to affect elections. The ruling only blocked communication for “content containing protected free speech.”

In a statement, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said it was “deeply concerning” that “protecting the First Amendment” does not have bipartisan support.

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