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Supreme Court Set to Side With Biden on Free Speech Censorship Case

An image of Joe Biden with a shocked face during an event/ An image of the US Supreme Court Building during dusk
Source: Wikimedia/Wikimedia

The United States of America prides itself on being a nation that promotes free speech and has done so since its inception over 250 years ago. However, citizens of the nation are now arguing that the federal government has broken its promise to uphold this amendment by censoring posts on social media. Now, a case against the government has made it to the Supreme Court, yet it appears the Justices will rule in favor of President Biden and the government’s right to censor content on social media. 

The Supreme Court case, known as Murthy v. Missouri, was first brought to the court’s attention at the start of Biden’s presidential term. The plaintiffs alleged the Biden administration had used their governmental influence to strongarm various social media platforms to remove certain posts that they deemed “false information,” including those centered on the COVID-19 Pandemic and the 2020 presidential election. However, according to the plaintiffs, this violates the First Amendment’s right to free speech. The first judge to look at the case sided with the plaintiffs, alleging that the federal government had, in fact, violated the right to free speech and issued an injunction against the Biden administration. The ruling would sit on hold for a year until it finally made it to the Supreme Court in March 2024. While a decision on the hearing won’t be released for several months, it appears the Biden administration and the government are off the hook, according to experts who’ve looked at the transcription. 

During the two-hour hearing, the Supreme Court Justices listened to the arguments of the prosecutors, who believe the government used their influence to convince social media platforms to censor conservative points of view. However, it proved difficult for the prosecutors to prove the government had engaged in such requests, with the opposing side claiming it was the decision of the platforms themselves. Essentially, there was no concrete evidence that the posts in question were removed due to direct instruction from the White House. Several emails were submitted as evidence, which the prosecutors tried to use to prove their points. However, they only showed the White House’s “constant pestering” for requests for meetings, yet nothing pointed towards instructions to remove conservative posts. The prosecution argued these emails show a direct abuse of power. However, in return, the defense said that communication between federal officials and the press is not uncommon. And that “platforms say no all the time to the government.”

 While Biden appears to be off the hook as far as the Supreme Court is concerned, Justice Jackson reveals she’s worried that the case’s consequences will result in prohibiting the White House from interacting with social media platforms. “I’m really worried about that because you’ve got the First Amendment operating in an environment of threatening circumstances from the government’s perspective, and you’re saying the government can’t interact with the source of those problems,” she said.


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