Supreme Court Hears Social Media Censorship Case Against Biden Administration

The nation’s highest court has begun hearing arguments in a case brought against the Biden administration for alleged collaboration with Big Tech to censor conservative views categorized as “misinformation.” The case holds the potential to set a new precedent for free speech in America.

The lawsuit, Murthy v. Missouri, made its first arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Monday March 18. It was originally filed by Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) in 2023, at which time he was serving as the attorney general of Missouri. Initially titled Missouri v. Biden, the case accused the federal government of collaborating with Big Tech to censor conservative views on social media.

Now, the case is named after United States surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy. Per a March 16 video posted to social media by Schmitt, the lawsuit is an opportunity to strengthen American free speech rights as designated under the First Amendment. SCOTUS agreed to hear the case in Oct. 2023.

Schmitt has called the lawsuit the “biggest free speech case in American history,” emphasizing that it is one in which the federal government is standing against its citizens.

The senator explained in his one and a half minute video that the White House—in this case, the Biden administration—is not permitted to “outsource censorship” among social media platforms in an effort to “trample on Americans’ speech.” Schmitt added that the government has been doing this with a number of hot button and controversial issues, including COVID-19 and its origins, the infamous investigation of the president’s son Hunter Biden and whether certain pandemic protocols were effective.

In a March 16 op-ed published in the Washington Examiner, Schmitt emphasized the commitment of America’s Founding Fathers to free speech protections. He further stated that the federal government has “colluded with and coerced social media platforms to censor speech online.”

He described the collaboration between Big Tech and government agencies and officials as “a chilling, concerted effort” that sought to censor viewpoints that “didn’t fit the approved narrative.”

The first arguments of Murthy v. Missouri came several months after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction on July 4, 2023, barring President Joe Biden and members of his administration from talking about platform content with social media companies.

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