Trump-appointed Federal Judge Terry A. Doughty issued a blow to the Biden Administration in an Independence Day ruling in the case of State of Missouri et. al., versus Joseph R. Biden Jr., et. al, which is about the federal government working with Big Tech in order to censor social media.
The Request for Preliminary Injunction was granted in part and denied in part.
The order states that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases (NIAID), the Office of the Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US Census Bureau, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the US Department of Justice, the White House Executive Office, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency ("CISA"), the US Department of State, along with dozens of named individuals, including Xavier Becerra (Secretary of HHS), Elvis Chan (who featured prominently in the Twitter files), Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy, and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, among others, are all RESTRAINED from taking the following actions related to social media companies:
The Preliminary Injunction also detailed actions that are not prohibited, including contacting social media companies about criminal activity, national security threats, election threats (e.g., criminal efforts to suppress voting, provide illegal campaign contributions, attacks on election infrastructure or foreign attempts to influence elections), public safety threats, threats to voters (e.g., mislead on voting requirements and procedures), or to promote government policies or views on matters of public concern.
Communicating with social media companies about deleting, removing, suppressing, or reducing posts on social-media platforms that are not protected free speech by the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is also permitted.
This Preliminary Injunction will remain in place until the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit or the Supreme Court of the US offers a final resolution.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey celebrated the win in a statement on Twitter.
He said, "the federal government cannot be trusted to protect Americans' rights, which is precisely why our Founders enshrined the First Amendment into the Constitution."