This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Tuesday, July 19, 2022:
History is likely to record that the decision by a District Judge in Louisiana on Tuesday — allowing that state, along with the state of Missouri, to expose the bureaucrats imposing censorship through collusion with social media — marks a historic milestone victory for the First Amendment.
The First Amendment declares that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” And yet bureaucrats in the executive branch often act as if the First Amendment doesn’t apply to them and have, over the past months and years, worked diligently to limit, restrict, cancel, and otherwise abrogate those precious freedoms with impunity.
Now, thanks to the ruling by Trump-appointed Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division, those bureaucrats’ days of hiding their identities from public view are shortly coming to an end.
Ruled Judge Doughty:
Within five business days after this ruling, Plaintiff States [Louisiana and Missouri] may serve interrogatories and document requests upon Government Defendants [including Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, former White House Secretary Jen Psaki, and others] and third party-subpoenas on up to five major social-media platforms [i.e., Meta/Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, etc.] seeking the identity of federal officials who have been and are communicating with social-media platforms about disinformation, misinformation, malinformation, and/or any censorship or suppression of speech on social media, including the nature and content of those communications.
In other words, as soon as the attorneys general of those two states and their staffs can issue those “interrogatories and document requests,” those individuals and platforms will be exposed to the exquisitely painful and disinfecting light of day.
The court is going to monitor those demands closely to make sure the bureaucrats comply with them in a timely manner. There will, in other words, be no escape for those working in the bowels of the executive branch to censor conversations that expose their radical, anti-freedom agenda.
The quest to expose them began in May when Missouri’s State Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced:
Missouri and Louisiana just filed sued against Joe Biden, Jen Psaki, Dr. Fauci, and other top-ranking officials for allegedly colluding with social media companies to suppress freedom of speech under the guise of combating “misinformation.”
That “misinformation” included the Hunter Biden laptop story, the Wuhan lab-leak story, the election-fraud story, and others.
Schmitt provided evidence:
In October 2020, after publishing an article on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, the New York Post’s main Twitter account was locked, and Twitter blocker other users from sharing the link….
Over a year and a half later, the Washington Post and the NY Times acknowledged the truth and reliability of the story, but not before the damage was done and free speech was suppressed by Twitter and companies.
The original complaint, filed on May 5, described the attempt to shut down freedom of speech and press:
In 1783, George Washington warned that if “the Freedom of Speech may be taken away,” then “dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.”
The freedom of speech in the United States now faces one of its greatest assaults by federal government officials in the Nation’s history….
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.”…
Federal officials — including, most notably, certain Defendants named herein — have repeatedly and aggressively threatened to remove these legal benefits and impose other adverse consequences on social-media platforms if they do not aggressively censor and suppress disfavored speakers, content, and viewpoints on their platforms;
and Defendants named herein, colluding and coordinating with each other, have also directly coordinated and colluded with social-media platforms to identify disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content and thus have procured the actual censorship and suppression of the freedom of speech….
As a direct result of these actions, there has been an unprecedented rise of censorship and suppression of free speech — including core political speech — on social-media platforms.
Not just fringe views, but perfectly legitimate, responsible viewpoints and speakers have been unlawfully and unconstitutionally silenced in the modern public square.
These actions gravely threaten the fundamental right of free speech and free discourse for virtually all citizens in Missouri, Louisiana, and America, both on social media and elsewhere.
The complaint and the proper response by Judge Doughty illustrate once again the brilliance of the Founders in “binding [men] down by the chains of the Constitution.”
As the exposure of those working to censor speech and press begins, The New American will keep its readers apprised of who they are and what charges they will face for their misdeeds.