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Appeals Court Issues Injunction Against Biden Admin Collusion and Coercion Of Big Tech Censorship Of Political Opponents

Appeals Court Issues Injunction Against Biden Admin Collusion and Coercion Of Big Tech Censorship Of Political Opponents

“the enjoined Defendants cannot coerce or significantly encourage a platform’s content-moderation decisions”

One of the most stunning decisions on government collusion and bullying of big tech to censor political opponents – particularly on Covid – came in a district court decision in a case brought by Missouri and Lousiana, later joined by certain individuals.

We covered the decision in Independence Day: Federal Court Enjoins Biden-Big Tech Collusive “far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign” against Conservatives:

The Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition. Opposition to COVID-19 vaccines; opposition to COVID-19 masking and lockdowns; opposition to the lab-leak theory of COVID-19; opposition to the validity of the 2020 election; opposition to President Biden’s policies; statements that the Hunter Biden laptop story was true; and opposition to policies of the government officials in power. All were suppressed. It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate about the significant issues affecting the country.

Although this case is still relatively young, and at this stage the Court is only examining it in terms of Plaintiffs’ likelihood of success on the merits, the evidence produced thus far depicts an almost dystopian scenario. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth.”721 [emphasis added]

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals just issued an Opinion substantially upholding the district court findings and issuing a modified injunction:

A group of social-media users and two states allege that numerous  federal officials coerced social-media platforms into censoring certain socialmedia content, in violation of the First Amendment. We agree, but only as to some of those officials. So, we AFFIRM in part, REVERSE in part, VACATE the injunction in part, and MODIFY the injunction in part.


The district court’s judgment is AFFIRMED with respect to the White House, the Surgeon General, the CDC, and the FBI, and REVERSED as to all other officials. The preliminary injunction is VACATED except for prohibition number six, which is MODIFIED as set forth herein. The Appellants’ motion for a stay pending appeal is DENIED as moot. The Appellants’ request to extend the administrative stay for ten days following the date hereof pending an application to the Supreme Court of the United States is GRANTED, and the matter is STAYED.


The court found that seveal aspects of the District Court injunction were overly broad, but upheld a key provision and imposed its own wording. Here’s the key part of the ruling on the injunction as it survives:

Like the Seventh Circuit’s preliminary injunction in, we endeavor to modify the preliminary injunction here to target the coercive government behavior with sufficient clarity to provide the officials notice of what activities are proscribed. Specifically, prohibition six of the injunction is MODIFIED to state:

Defendants, and their employees and agents, shall take no actions, formal or informal, directly or indirectly, to coerce or significantly encourage social-media companies to remove,
delete, suppress, or reduce, including through altering their algorithms, posted social-media content containing protected free speech. That includes, but is not limited to, compelling the
platforms to act, such as by intimating that some form of punishment will follow a failure to comply with any request, or supervising, directing, or otherwise meaningfully controlling the social-media companies’ decision-making processes

Under the modified injunction, the enjoined Defendants cannot coerce or significantly encourage a platform’s content-moderation decisions. Such conduct includes threats of adverse consequences—even if those threats are not verbalized and never materialize—so long as a reasonable person would construe a government’s message as alluding to some form of punishment. That, of course, is informed by context (e.g., persistent pressure, perceived or actual ability to make good on a threat). The government cannot subject the platforms to legal, regulatory, or economic consequences (beyond reputational harms) if they do not comply with a given request. See Bantam Books, 372 U.S. at 68; Okwedy, 333 F.3d at 344. The
enjoined Defendants also cannot supervise a platform’s content moderation decisions or directly involve themselves in the decision itself. Social-media platforms’ content-moderation decisions must be theirs and theirs alone. See Blum, 457 U.S. at 1008. This approach captures illicit conduct, regardless of
its form.

Because the modified injunction does not proscribe Defendants from activities that could include legal conduct, no carveouts are needed. There are two guiding inquiries for Defendants. First, is whether their action could be reasonably interpreted as a threat to take, or cause to be taken, an official action against the social-media companies if the companies decline Defendants’ request to remove, delete, suppress, or reduce protected free speech on their platforms. Second, is whether Defendants have exercised active, meaningful control over the platforms’ content-moderation decisions to such a degree that it inhibits the platforms’ independent decision-making.

Keep in mind this injunction only applies to government pressure, it does not prevent big tech and big social media from on their own censoring conservatives, which we all know they do on a far broader basis than is coerced by the government.



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Injunctions are more like guidelines to the lawless Biden regime. They’ll just farm out the censorship to third parties.

    CommoChief in reply to Concise. | September 9, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    They can try but the order also precludes that as well by stating ‘directly or indirectly’. Not that they won’t try but if caught they gonna get slapped again by the CT for what that’s worth. Sooner or later there’s going to have to be more serious penalties imposed not just upon the agencies but on those doing this crap. Large personal fines and consent decrees might do the trick with close monitoring of all communications to and from.

It is about time, lets move on to suing the shit out of people who were behind this, civil and criminal.

The factual record of obnoxious and lawless coercion by the Biden Administration and federal agencies was too lengthy and substantive for the Court to ignore. Judge Doughty’s injunction ruling was masterful in laying out the history and extent of the government conduct complained-of.

I mean, White House officials requesting that Facebook censor satirical comments and pictures mocking crime boss and dotard-marionette, Biden? As the crime boss himself would say — “Come on, man!!!”

I get a yuck out or “White House requesting” or ELSE!

Conservative Beaner | September 9, 2023 at 5:27 am

So what if the states win and Biden says F you.

This will be another example of the courts being told, you’ve made your decision now try to enforce it.

retiredcantbefired | September 10, 2023 at 4:17 pm

If Matt Taibbi’s initial response to this ruling is on the money, the Fifth Circuit has—in fact—gotten rid of most of the original injunction.

Does Professor Jacobson agree with the Fifth Circuit’s conception of “overly broad”? It would be good to know.

For instance, NIAID, the State Department (GEC), and CISA are no longer subject to the injunction.

Neither are pseudo-non-governmental organizations like the “Election Integrity Project.”

Wouldn’t it better if this case were taken up promptly by the Supremes?