Supreme Court Allows Govt to Pressure Social Media Companies to Censor Lawful Speech

By Chris Menahan – Information Liberation

The “conservative” Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled on a technicality that the White House and other federal agencies can continue to pressure social media companies to censor lawful speech protected by the First Amendment.

From CNN, “Supreme Court allows White House to press social media companies to remove disinformation”:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the White House and federal agencies such as the FBI may continue to urge social media platforms to take down content the government views as misinformation, handing the Biden administration a technical if important election-year victory.

Of immediate significance, the decision means that the Department of Homeland Security may continue to flag posts to social media companies such as Facebook and X that it believes may be the work of foreign agents seeking to disrupt this year’s presidential race.

Rather than delving into the weighty First Amendment questions raised by the case, the court ruled that the state and social media users who challenged the Biden administration did not have standing to sue.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote the opinion for a 6-3 majority.

“To establish standing, the plaintiffs must demonstrate a substantial risk that, in the near future, they will suffer an injury that is traceable to a government defendant and redressable by the injunction they seek,” Barrett wrote. “Because no plaintiff has carried that burden, none has standing to seek a preliminary injunction.”

More conservative cowardice on the part of two Trump-appointed, Federalist Society-approved justices.

Justice Samel Alito, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Neil Gorsuch, wrote a dissent that dubbed the case “one of the most important free speech cases to reach this Court in years.”

He said the challengers had brought forward enough evidence to establish standing.

“The Court, however, shirks that duty and thus permits the successful campaign of coercion in this case to stand as an attractive model for future officials who want to control what the people say, hear, and think,” Alito wrote. “That is regrettable.”

He called the conduct of the officials sued in the case “unconstitutional,” “coercive” and “dangerous.”

“It was blatantly unconstitutional, and the country may come to regret the Court’s failure to say so,” Alito wrote.

His 34-page dissent went through the details of the case as he sought to counter the court’s conclusions that the challengers’ lacked standing, while also addressing the merits of their claims.

“For months, high-ranking Government officials placed unrelenting pressure on Facebook to suppress Americans’ free speech. Because the Court unjustifiably refuses to address this serious threat to the First Amendment, I respectfully dissent,” Alito said.

We’ve got two bold rulings out of this court — one on abortion and another on affirmative action — and then just an endless sea of equivocation.

There were plenty of warning signs — especially during the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett — but they were ignored for the sake of political expediency and advancing DEI.

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