Supreme Court to decide if Biden admin illegally bullied social media into censoring content

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The Supreme Court will determine whether the Biden administration violated the Constitution when it pressured tech companies to remove from their platforms what federal officials said was false or misleading content about the 2020 election and Covid-19.

In an order Friday afternoon, the justices agreed to hear the Biden administration’s challenge to a lower court order blocking it from urging social media companies to remove certain content that the White House claimed was misinformation around Covid-19 vaccines, Hunter Biden’s laptop and the contested 2020 election results.

In taking the case, the justices also blocked the lower court’s injunction, which had been set to kick in within minutes and would have barred many types of contact between federal officials and the social media giants. The high court’s action means that administration officials can keep contacting social media companies for now while the Supreme Court weighs the case.

Three conservative justices — Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch — dissented from the decision to block the injunction, joining in a five-page opinion by Alito that called the court’s action “highly disturbing” and said it threatened to curtail the discussion of unpopular political views online.

“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,” Alito wrote. “That is most unfortunate.”

“This is the worst First Amendment violation in our nation’s history. We look forward to dismantling Joe Biden’s vast censorship enterprise at the nation’s highest court,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey said in a statement.

The White House and the Louisiana attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment.

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