RFK Jr. gets First Amendment victory against Biden, Fauci in landmark censorship case

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News February 19, 2024

A federal judge on Wednesday issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Biden Administration officials and agencies from coercing or encouraging social media platforms to suppress or censor online content containing protected free speech.

Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana also stayed the injunction until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar injunction in Murthy v. Missouri, a related censorship case.

Wednesday’s ruling stems from a class-action lawsuit filed in March 2023 by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the Children’s Health Defense (CHD) news outlet, and private citizen Connie Sampognaro against Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other top administration officials and federal agencies.

The suit was filed on behalf of the more than 80% of Americans who access news through social media.

Judge Doughty found that several of the defendants in the lawsuit were violating the plaintiffs’ free speech rights under the First Amendment, causing irreparable harm. He ordered them to cease these violations.

The court recognized that the “right of free speech is a fundamental constitutional right that is vital to the freedom of our nation, and the Kennedy plaintiffs have produced evidence of a massive effort by defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content.”

Plaintiffs alleged Biden administration officials “waged a systematic, concerted campaign” to compel the nation’s three largest social media companies to censor constitutionally protected speech.

The government, the lawsuit alleges, pressured social media platforms to directly suppress or censor Kennedy and CHD from major platforms and to do the same to content containing views about Covid-19 and other issues that contradicted the government narrative.

The judge noted that the CDC worked with the Virality Project to reduce or delete social media posts by people and organizations they believed to be spreading “misinformation” about Covid.

The Virality Project explicitly listed Kennedy and CHD in the fifth and second place as the highest performing weekly social-media engagement incidents, the judge wrote.

The judge also found the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim, writing:

“As in Missouri v. Biden, the White House Defendants and the Surgeon General Defendants both coerced and significantly encouraged social-media platforms to suppress protected free speech.

“This Court further finds the CDC Defendants, the CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] Defendants and the FBI Defendants significantly encouraged social-media platforms to suppress protected free speech.”


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