COVID Censorship Case Booted by US Supreme Court Shows Big Gov Bullied Big Tech

“…the newly minted relationship between the State and social media companies undermined the constitutional right to freedom of speech.”

For all the angry noise accusing the United States Supreme Court of giving Trump a win – thus “ending democracy” – the Left has overlooked the MURTHY v. MISSOURI ruling from June 26 (last week).

SCOTUS backed Biden 6-3, effectively preventing a precedent that would stop big Gov from telling big tech who to censor, and when to censor them.

Six justices refuted claims that bureaucrats who coerced big tech censorship during COVID-19 would be prone to do it again.

The 6-3 ruling, drowned out by the 6-3 immunity win for Donald Trump, said the case’s plaintiffs had no legal standing.

Two Republican States and five social media users sued the government for breaching their constitutional right to free speech.

They alleged that the newly minted relationship between the State and social media companies undermined the constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Platforms that were coerced into censoring voices critical of COVID-19 would do so on other issues.

A district court supported the claim.

They ruled that the government “shall not coerce or should not significantly encourage social-media companies to suppress protected speech on their platforms.”

The Biden administration responded by taking this loss to SCOTUS.

Consequently, the majority ruled that the plaintiffs were “seeking forward-looking relief, which lacked specific causation.

“While the record reflects that the Government defendants played a role in at least some of the platforms moderation choices,” they admitted.

“The evidence indicates that the platforms had independent incentives to moderate content and often exercised their own judgment.”

There is no ‘concrete link’ to prove the Government used coercion to control freedom of speech.

Content was being suppressed by big tech before government gag orders took place, the six-justice ruling concluded.

“To obtain forward-looking relief, the plaintiffs must establish a substantial risk of future injury.”

Without evidence of continued coercion, they argued, there is no proof that past harm will result in future harm.

Especially, given the government had rolled back its pandemic policing.

Put simply, the plaintiff’s case against Government coercion, and censorship was too weak for the court to affirm.

There was no clear evidence presented by the plaintiffs, that ‘each platform acted due to Government coercion, rather than its own judgment.’

SCOTUS watcher, Amy Howe, explained, “The lawsuit centers on ‘jawboning,’ a term used to describe informal efforts by government officials to persuade someone outside the government to take action.”

Plaintiffs were “seeking an order limiting future communications between government officials and social media platforms.”

This was denied.

The three dissenting Justices, Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch, affirmed claims that Biden’s administration entered into: “a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign.”

A campaign “conducted by high-ranking federal officials against Americans who expressed certain disfavoured views about COVID–19 on social media.

“Our dedication to a free marketplace of ideas demands that dissenting views on such matters be allowed,” they asserted.

Some views “were undoubtedly untrue, or misleading, some downright dangerous, but ‘we now know that valuable speech was also suppressed.

“Government officials may not coerce private entities to suppress speech.”

In the case of Facebook, they “repeatedly yielded.”

The Biden administration’s threats, accusations, and intimidation, made the company vulnerable.

For example, the White House and legacy media claim that Facebook was “aiding an insurrection,” on January 6.

The record shows that high-ranking officials, “skilfully exploited Facebook’s vulnerability,” said Justice Alito – delivering the dissenting opinion.

When FB did not “heed their requests, as quickly or as fully,” those officials gaslit Facebook, “accusing them of killing people, and threatening retaliation.

“Not surprisingly these efforts bore fruit,” Alito explained.

“Facebook adopted new rules that better conformed to the officials’ wishes.”

As such, “many users who expressed disapproved views about the pandemic or COVID–19 vaccines were ‘deplatformed’ or otherwise injured.”

“Internal Facebook emails paint a clear picture of subservience.”

Alito concluded, “Officials wielded potent authority. Their communications with Facebook were virtual demands.

“Because the Court unjustifiably refuses to address this serious threat to the First Amendment, I respectfully dissent.”

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