Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Supreme Court Blocks Restrictions On Biden Administration Efforts To Get Platforms To Remove Social Media Posts

An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: The Supreme Court on Friday blocked in full a lower court ruling that would have curbed the Biden administration’s ability to communicate with social media companies about contentious content on such issues as Covid-19. The decision in a short unsigned order (PDF) puts on hold a Louisiana-based judge’s ruling in July that specific agencies and officials should be barred from meeting with companies to discuss whether certain content should be stifled. The Supreme Court also agreed to immediately take up the government’s appeal, meaning it will hear arguments and issue a ruling on the merits in its current term, which runs until the end of June. Three conservative justices noted that they would have denied the application: Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch.

“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,” Alito wrote in a dissenting opinion. GOP attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, along with five social media users, filed the underlying lawsuit, alleging that U.S. government officials went too far in what they characterize as coercion of social media companies to address posts, especially those related to Covid-19. The individual plaintiffs include Covid-19 lockdown opponents and Jim Hoft, the owner of the right-wing website Gateway Pundit. They claim that the government’s actions violated free speech protections under the Constitution’s First Amendment.


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