WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to allow the Biden administration to continue urging the social media censorship of content that the government considers “misinformation.”
In a September 14 decision, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito said on behalf of the Court that the Biden administration could temporarily continue its efforts to persuade social media companies to remove certain content, including so-called “COVID-19 misinformation,” Reuters reported.
The decision came after the Biden administration earlier that day asked for a stay on an “unprecedented” injunction handed down by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals preventing government officials from urging social media companies to censor posts that the government finds undesirable.
The Supreme Court’s Thursday decision allows the government until September 22 to prepare and submit a formal appeal to the Supreme Court before the injunction barring government interference with Big Tech takes effect.
Prior to the September 14 decision, the Fifth Circuit’s injunction barring government interference would have taken effect on Monday.
In the 297-page filing, the Biden administration complained that lower courts had “held that federal officials had transformed the private platforms’ content moderation decisions into state action” and ran afoul of the First Amendment when they urged social media platforms to scrub so-called “misinformation” about COVID-19 or warned about foreign “disinformation.”
While acknowledging that “the government cannot punish people for expressing different views” or “threaten to punish the media or other intermediaries for disseminating disfavored speech,” the government claimed a difference “between persuasion and coercion.”
It argued that requests for censorship by the FBI, for example, aren’t “inherently coercive merely because the FBI is a powerful law enforcement agency.”
The Biden administration further argued that the use of its “bully pulpit to seek to persuade Americans — and American companies — to act in ways that the President believes would advance the public interest” makes up a “central dimension of presidential power.”
As LifeSiteNews has extensively reported, government agencies have taken an active role in encouraging censorship of conservative perspectives, particularly during the COVID-19 epidemic and the 2020 election, to combat so-called “misinformation.”
The “Twitter Files,” a series of internal documents reviewed and reported on by multiple journalists hand-picked by Twitter/X owner Elon Musk, have exposed a pattern of communication between social media companies and government agencies concerning the suppression of certain posts and content.
Prominent instances of social media censorship on behalf of and favoring Democrats have included the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story under allegations that it was “hacked” material or “Russian disinformation” and the squelching of content that questioned the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s narrative on matters concerning COVID-19, including lockdowns, masking, vaccine mandates, and alternative treatments.
Earlier this year, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a lawsuit, Missouri v. Biden, against the federal government alleging that government actors coerced social media companies to engage in the censorship.
“What we’ve demonstrated and what we believe is going on is censorship because it’s unelected federal bureaucrats targeting specific speech that they disfavor and asking that it be removed from big-tech social media platforms,” Bailey said at the time. “That’s the problem. It stifles free, fair, and open debate and it undermines our First Amendment. There should be a marketplace of ideas that is free from government censorship.”
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews, the first batch of emails released as part of the lawsuit found that Biden officials and Big Tech met regularly to discuss what to censor. One email from a Facebook employee to two CDC staffers asked about setting up a monthly “misinfo/debunking” meeting “in addition to our weekly meetings.”
Facebook officials deleted a parody Fauci account on Instagram after a White House official named Clarke Humphrey complained.
In July, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty agreed that Facebook, Google, Youtube, and Twitter/X had been coerced by Biden administration officials “into suppressing posts related to COVID-19 and claims of fraud in the 2020 election,” Reuters reported.
AG Bailey has vowed to fight the Biden administration’s efforts to appeal the district court’s ruling.
“We are rooting out this censorship enterprise and will hold any wrongdoers accountable,” he said in a statement, according to Reuters.