Missouri AG: Biden Collusion with Big Tech Is ‘Worst’ Free Speech Violation in ‘Nation’s History’
In response to a federal judge forbidding them from communicating with social media platforms regarding free speech last week, the Biden administration filed a motion to put the decision on hold. But on Monday, the U.S. District judge for the Western District of Louisiana denied the motion, keeping the injunction in place. The legal battle involves what Missouri’s attorney general has described as “the worst First Amendment violations in this nation’s history.”
“Today is another big win for free speech and our efforts to fight back against big tech and government censorship,” said Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.), who filed the lawsuit in 2022 while serving as the state’s attorney general. The administration has now asked the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to temporarily block the order.
The court battle comes as questions continue to swirl about the nature of the relationship between the Biden administration and Big Tech in recent years. In March, information emerged showing that administration officials from an array of agencies pressured platforms like Twitter and Facebook to censor and deplatform content that was clearly protected free speech having to do with subjects like COVID and the Hunter Biden laptop story, among others. Almost all the speech in question was conservative in nature.
Current Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R), who filed the motion with Louisiana AG Jeff Landy in March for a preliminary injunction in the case, joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” on Monday to discuss the enormity of case for free speech in America.
“They want to continue to suppress American’s free speech and they only target conservative voices,” he emphasized. “Anything that the federal bureaucrats or Joe Biden disagree with or think is not true, they want the right to silence. Certainly, the First Amendment prohibits that. The court picked up on that. That’s why we have this nationwide injunction. And really, it’s dripping with irony, if you think about it. The same screaming heads that are saying, ‘This court order is the end of the world,’ that ‘It’s going to destroy coordination between the government and Big Tech’ are sowing disinformation under the guise of trying to protect us from disinformation.”
Bailey went on to underscore that what has been unearthed so far in the relationship between the administration and Big Tech has only just begun.
“Look, we’ve only begun to scratch the surface,” he stressed. “We know that COVID was the Trojan horse that allowed the enemy behind the gate. That allowed the federal government to justify the censorship enterprise. But it’s expanded, it’s grown, and it’s become so big that it can only be described as a vast censorship enterprise, the nerve center of which is housed in the Department of Homeland Security. We’ve got to keep uncovering every stone, leaving no stone unturned to root out this vast censorship enterprise and continue to build that wall of separation between tech and state to protect our First Amendment, especially as we move into an election cycle.”
In response to Perkins asserting that the administration wants to continue using Big Tech to manipulate speech in order to influence the next election, Bailey concurred.
“I think that’s absolutely true. I mean, that’s what they’re committed to. They don’t think that they’ve done anything wrong. They’re unrepentant, and they’re willing to do it again. When we went to court on May 26, they were specifically asked by the judge whether or not it would be a violation of the First Amendment for the federal government to suppress an American citizen’s right to question the integrity, the result of an election. And the Department of Justice said, ‘Well, it depends.’ They’re unwilling to commit to protecting core political speech. That’s why the court order is so important.”
Bailey further emphasized that if the court order holds through future legal challenges, his office will use the legal system to hold the Biden administration accountable and enforce compliance.
“[W]e’re going to continue to monitor it through the discovery process,” he insisted. “We will now have access to additional witnesses and innumerable documents and files and evidence. … And if we find anyone violating the court order, we’re going to move to hold them in contempt. And it’s the power of contempt that compels the federal government to obey the constitutional protection of free speech.”
Bailey went on to observe that maintaining free speech is a job for every citizen. “[W]e’re going to need everybody’s help in identifying where that censorship is occurring. … We’ve got to remain vigilant and protect the free, fair, and open marketplace of ideas, especially as we move into an election cycle. And we’ll use every tool at our disposal to accomplish that long-term.”
“Congress probably needs to appoint an inspector general to monitor compliance with the court order,” Bailey continued. “This is a lawsuit that’s going to end up in the United States Supreme Court. It’s the most important First Amendment lawsuit in a generation. We’ve uncovered the worst First Amendment violations in this nation’s history.”
Going forward, Bailey assured Perkins that his office will continue to make public future findings in the case. “We’re committed to transparency. Certainly we’ve released as much information as we’ve been allowed to by the court within the confines of due process and due diligence. And we’re committed to the public understanding what went on here so we can prevent it from ever happening in the future.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.