Supreme Court Rules Plaintiffs Lack Standing in Federal Censorship Case

The court permits the president’s administration to continue communicating with social media outlets.

The Supreme Court decided that communications from government agencies directing social media companies to remove harmful or misleading posts do not violate the First Amendment, ruling against state attorneys general and other plaintiffs.

State attorneys general sued President Biden’s administration for these communications in 2022, alleging that opposing voices were censored because officials from the  White House, FBI, surgeon general’s office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency instructed social media companies to remove posts that were critical of the administration and its policies.

The majority of Supreme Court justices decided against the argument, stating the plaintiffs presented insufficient evidence to show that actual censorship occurred at the requests of federal officials. Justice Amy Coney Barrett stated in the court’s opinion that the plaintiffs could not show a “concrete link” between the officials’ request for content moderation and any harm that the plaintiffs suffered. 

They “emphasize that hearing unfettered speech on social media is critical to their work,” Justice Barrett wrote. “But they do not point to any specific instance of content moderation that caused them identifiable harm.”

Justice Alito wrote in dissent that the court’s majority “permits the successful campaign of coercion in this case to stand as an attractive model for future officials who want to control what the people say, hear and think.”

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the justices of the Supreme Court as they issue the final decisions of the current term.
  • For wisdom for the chairs and members of congressional judiciary committees as they consider possible legislation to protect freedom of speech.

Sources: Reuters, Townhall


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