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Attorney General Eric Schmitt of MissouriFederalist Society

MONROE, Louisiana (LifeSiteNews) — The attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri filed a lawsuit to stop the Biden administration’s “collusion” with Big Tech companies to censor political speech.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in a federal district court in Louisiana, asks for a preliminary injunction to stop President Joe Biden and other administration officials from working with or pressuring social media companies to limit political speech.

Attorneys general Jeff Landry of Louisiana and Eric Schmitt of Missouri have asked a federal judge to issue an order that prevents Biden officials “from taking any steps to demand, urge, encourage, pressure, or otherwise induce any company or platform for online speech.”

The preliminary injunction should extend to “any employee, officer, or agent of any such online company or platform, to censor, suppress, remove, de-platform, suspend, shadow-ban, de-boost, or take any other adverse action against any speaker, content, or viewpoint expressed on social-media.”

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The lawsuit is the result of efforts by Biden administration officials to get Big Tech companies to censor speech, including information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and efforts going back to the 2020 election to get Facebook to censor content from Donald Trump and his team.

The Biden team’s “threats of adverse legal consequences thus became compelling” after his election the lawsuit stated.

“Once in control, Defendants promptly capitalized by leveraging these threats—which continued with increased vigor—into direct collusion with social-media companies to achieve widespread censorship of particular disfavored speakers and viewpoints on social media.”

For example, the lawsuit cites Anthony Fauci for allegedly getting Facebook to censor stories about the possibility that COVID leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The company, now known as Meta, complied with the request before eventually backtracking on censoring such content.

The lawsuit also named Surgeon General Vivek Murthy as another official who pressured social media companies to restrict access to COVID information.

“Surgeon General Murthy explicitly called for more aggressive censorship of social-media speech, stating that ‘we expect more from our technology companies. …. We’re asking them to monitor misinformation more closely. We’re asking them to consistently take action against misinformation super-spreaders on their platforms,” the lawsuit stated.

The attorneys general noted in their lawsuit that Facebook responded to Murthy’s request by saying they were already coordinating to suppress information.

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Missouri’s attorney general said that Big Tech’s collusion with the federal government should ‘terrify’ Americans.

“Freedom of speech is the very bedrock of this great nation, and needs to be protected and preserved,” AG Schmitt said in a news release. “The federal government’s alleged attempts to collude with social media companies to censor free speech should terrify Missourians and Americans alike.”

“We may have forced the Biden Administration to forego its Disinformation Governance Board, but there is still a very real threat to Missourians’ and Americans’ right to free speech,” he said. “The federal government must be halted from silencing any more Americans, and this motion for preliminary injunction intends to do just that.”