WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to hear Murthy v. Missouri (previously known as Missouri v. Biden), a case about whether the federal government can collude with Big Tech to censor disfavored speech.
The announcement on Friday included a stay of an injunction against the Biden administration working hand-in-hand with Big Tech companies to encourage them to take down voices critical of COVID vaccines, criticism of the 2020 election, and reporting on Hunter Biden’s questionable foreign business dealings.
The announcement Friday means the Biden administration can continue to work alongside Big Tech on censorship for potentially months until the case is heard and decided.
Censored voices include Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jim Hoft of The Gateway Pundit, and esteemed medical experts such as Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya. All had content removed allegedly after Biden officials flagged posts from the different individuals.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals added the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to a list of government entities prohibited from partnering with Big Tech. Other entities are the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. surgeon general, Vivek Murthy (the named defendant).
At least three justices seem primed to strike down the scheme.
Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented from the approval of stay, calling it “highly disturbing.”
Despite court rulings finding a “coordinated campaign” between government officials and Big Tech, SCOTUS allowed the scheme to continue. “Government censorship of private speech is antithetical to our democratic form of government, and therefore today’s decision is highly disturbing,” Justice Alito wrote.
Justice Alito wrote that the federal government could not prove that the injunction would actually harm it, only offering hypotheticals. The injunction already provided exemptions for legitimate reasons, such as national security.
“Moreover, it does not appear that any of the Government’s hypothetical communications would actually be prohibited by the injunction,” Justice Alito wrote. “Nor is any such example provided by the Court’s unreasoned order.”
He wrote that there is a simple solution for concerns that there might be legitimate reasons to censor speech: let the federal government immediately seek a stay when it has a specific example.
He wrote in his dissenting opinion:
Applying our settled test for granting a stay, I would deny the Government’s application, but I would specify in the order that in the unlikely event that a concrete occurrence presents a risk of irreparable harm, the Government can apply for relief at that time, including, if necessary, by filing an emergency application here.
Such an order would fully protect the ability of Executive Branch officials to speak out on matters of public concern. At this time in the history of our country, what the Court has done, I fear, will be seen by some as giving the Government a green light to use heavy-handed tactics to skew the presentation of views on the medium that increasingly dominates the dissemination of news. That is most unfortunate.
Even a court ruling in favor of the Biden administration could not undo the evidence that came out of the trial, which proved that Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms do not act as private, independent entities. Instead, they have been proven to work as arms of the federal government.
Emails obtained through the trial show that Twitter and Instagram were quick to remove accounts parodying Dr. Anthony Fauci and members of the Biden family within minutes of requests from federal officials. Social media companies also removed content critical of the COVID jabs after pressure from government officials.
“Hey folks-Wanted to flag the below tweet and am wondering if we can get moving on the process of having it removed ASAP,” Clarke Humphrey, digital director of Biden’s COVID-19 Response Team, wrote in an email to Twitter (now X) officials, referencing an RFK Jr. tweet.
While it is not clear if that specific tweet was removed, Twitter, just a few weeks later, sent the White House a special “portal” to flag content, which the company’s staff promised would be given high priority.
Biden officials have sought other ways to limit speech, including through a now ostensibly defunct Disinformation Governance Board.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which housed the board, has argued it has broad authority to police content that is “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation.”
“Malinformation” refers to information that is true but could have a negative effect, as judged by the person policing it, such as slowing down an agenda.
Public documents that were circulated ahead of the board’s creation but were only recently released show that topics such as criticism of immigration and Ukraine policy were labeled as areas of concern.