GOP AGs of Louisiana and Missouri file lawsuit against Biden over ‘collusion’ with Big Tech to censor conservative criticism

It is a commonly held view on the ideological right that Big Tech social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have engaged in censorship and suppression against free speech that is disfavored by the ideological left or runs counter to preferred narratives and talking points.

Now the Republican attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri have filed a massive lawsuit against President Joe Biden and others in his administration that alleges collusion and coercion with those Big Tech companies to increase the censorship and suppression of political opponents, Fox News reported.

In addition to Biden, the lawsuit names as defendants a variety of government officials including White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, NIAID, and Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, HHS and Sec. Xavier Becerra, DHS and Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas, CISA, Director Jen Easterly, and new Disinformation Governance Board Director Nina Jankowitz.

The lawsuit

The crux of the 86-page lawsuit filed by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is that President Biden and his top officials have routinely and illegally violated the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment by urging or threatening private Big Tech firms into conducting censorious actions that the administration itself is expressly forbidden from doing.

The named defendants are alleged to have “coerced, threatened, and pressured social media platforms to censor disfavored speakers and viewpoints by using threats of adverse government action.”

“Having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social-media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation,’” the filing added.

The lawsuit filed by the pair of attorneys general provided several examples of social media censorship and suppression that were allegedly prompted or encouraged by the defendants, such as the New York Post‘s Hunter Biden laptop stories; discussion of the COVID-19 lab leak theory; the efficacy of masks, lockdowns, and vaccines concerning COVID; and election integrity and voter fraud.

That filing then shared dozens of examples, both before and after Biden took office as president, of the named defendants or their Democratic allies making public statements that were clearly intended to spur greater censorship and suppression on social media, often including clear threats of adverse legal and political consequences if the demanded actions weren’t taken.

It concluded with claims that the defendants had violated the First Amendment and acted in excess of their statutory authority, and concerning the named federal agencies and departments, alleged that the Administrative Procedure Act had been violated by way of policies implemented in relation to online censorship and suppression.

The AGs speak out

Attorney General Schmitt told Fox News in a statement, “In direct contravention to the First Amendment and freedom of speech, the Biden Administration has been engaged in a pernicious campaign to both pressure social media giants to censor and suppress speech and work directly with those platforms to achieve that censorship in a misguided and Orwellian campaign against ‘misinformation.'”

Likewise, Attorney General Landry told the network, “Big Tech has become an extension of Biden’s Big Government, and neither are protecting the freedoms of Americans; rather, they are suppressing truth and demonizing those who think differently.”

The Louisiana AG added, “Ripped from the playbook of Stalin and his ilk, Biden has been colluding with Big Tech to censor free speech and propagandize the masses. We are fighting back to ensure the rule of law and prevent the government from unconstitutional banning, chilling, and stifling of speech.”

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