The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) civil rights group has announced that a federal judge has rejected a motion to dismiss a First Amendment lawsuit, Missouri v. Biden, where the government is accused of involvement in censorship.
“The Court finds that the complaint alleges significant encouragement and coercion that converts the otherwise private conduct of censorship on social media platforms into state action, and is unpersuaded by defendants’ arguments to the contrary,” the decision reads.
We obtained a copy of the decision for you here.
The Biden White House thus failed to stop the legal challenge which alleges collusion between the government and Big Tech to suppress information they disapproved of concerning the pandemic and US elections.
The decision not to accept the motion was made in the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana by Judge Terry A. Doughty, a statement from the non-profit said.
The NCLA explained that it represented doctors Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, Aaron Kheriaty, as well as Jill Hines, and that the suit lifted the lid on the censorship regime that the organization says a number of federal agencies had put in place.
The number in question is “at least” 11 agencies and sub-agencies (including the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security, DHS), the NCLA said, and backed this claim up by information that came out during the discovery process.
Government officials are accused of participating in a lawless censorship campaign that used a wide variety of tools to get social media companies to toe the line, from collusion and coordination, to coercion.
These serious claims laid out in the lawsuit, which Judge Doughty just allowed to proceed, further allege that the result was the censoring, blacklisting and shadow-banning of the clients represented by the NCLA, as well as other methods of silencing them, such as deliberately downranking their content, throttling, etc.
Explaining the decision to deny the motion to dismiss, the judge said that, based on past censorship, the threat of future censorship is “substantial” – rather than being “illusory or merely speculative.”
The NCLA welcomed the ruling, describing it as an important victory in the battle for free speech in the US, and lauded the district court for recognizing the scale and damage of government-orchestrated censorship.
“The Court has seen through the government’s unrelenting efforts to deny responsibility for using its vast power to silence thousands upon thousands of Americans online, often removing factually true information the government did not like,” commented NCLA’s senior litigation counsel, John J. Vecchione.
The case is now headed to a preliminary injunction hearing set for May 12.