Tag Archive for: missouri v biden

BOB EHRLICH: It’s Not All Doom And Gloom. Here Are Some Signs Of Progress Against The Woke Onslaught

So much has gone wrong over the past three years that it is easy to simply ignore good news, including signs of progress against the woke onslaught.

And so, a brief, happy reminder that inflection points still exist – that there are increasing numbers of people ready, willing and able to contest the Obama/Biden led “transformation” of America. A sampling:

  • A recent Wall Street Journal story (“Sustainable Investing Craze Fades”) informs that the market’s enthusiasm for sustainable funds and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) mandates is on the wane. Indeed, some funds are literally dropping “sustainable” from their titles. Here, enough investors are demanding a return to fiduciary duty that even woke investment types are getting the message.
  • The U.S. military has returned to old school patriotism. You know, the “Be all you can be” brand of recruiting pitch with depictions of tanks and field artillery and fighter jets screaming overhead. Seems that while all the woke outreach and PC advertising was plenty good enough for peace time, there is now a realization that potential hot wars in the Middle East and over Taiwan may require actual warriors…rather than the HR police. Jus’ sayin’.
  • The American public (per recent polling results) recognizes the ever-spiraling cost of living, despite the very best efforts of the White House and mainstream media to paint a picture of a Bidenomics-induced era of moderating prices and economic growth. The weekly grocery and energy tabs are simply too high for the average American to buy what Mr. Biden is selling.
  • A federal judge’s decision in Biden vs. Missouri – and subsequent appeals upholding that decision – has given new hope to First Amendment types that the Biden era’s preoccupation with “disinformation” and infatuation with heavy handed censorship has hit a major roadblock.
  • As injuries and lost opportunities for female athletes begin to mount, more women are speaking out about the unfairness of biological men competing in women’s athletics. The really good news: These new critics come from all over the ideological spectrum.
  • Around the world, right-wing and pro-legal immigration parties are on the upswing – a tide seen in recent election results in the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Germany, and of course the recent shocking presidential election result in Argentina.

Note that I continue to live in the real world, that I understand there remain plenty of negative storylines out there as well. (See, e.g., The “mostly peaceful” pro-Palestinian demonstrations in world capitols and the outbreak of virulent antisemitism in America and Europe and never-ending waves of illegal migrants overwhelming the southern border.) But the fact remains that weak-woke-and wobbly is not standing up to increased scrutiny as election time rolls around.

You see – despite all the positive reviews it receives on American campuses and through left-leaning media outlets around the world – secular progressivism / socialism / Marxism never quite work out. The proletariat never quite rebels. Collectivism never quite produces enough consumer goods. Attacks on the nuclear family never quite overcome biology. And identity politics never quite trumps content of character.

A word of warning: Resist the inclination to get comfortable with this recent outbreak of positive news and common sense. There is no guarantee it will maintain itself for a sustained period of time. Something for nothing and class warfare and the war against the family and biological men playing women’s sports and speech codes on campus are simply not going away overnight. But how satisfying it is to see real progress on the front lines.



Bob Ehrlich is a former Governor of Maryland, Member of Congress, and State Legislator. He is the author of five books on American politics and opinion pieces that have appeared in America’s leading newspapers and periodicals. He and his wife, Kendel, can be seen and heard on their weekly podcast, “Bottom Line with Bob & Kendel Ehrlich.”

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Appeals Court Affirms Ruling Preventing Biden Admin From ‘Significantly’ Encouraging Social Media Censorship

A federal appeals court partially affirmed a lower court’s finding on Friday that Biden administration officials violated the First Amendment by coercing social media companies to censor speech.

The Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s judgement that the White House, Surgeon General, CDC and FBI violated the First Amendment while finding that “the district court erred in finding that the NIAID Officials, CISA Officials, and State Department Officials likely violated Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.” Yet it found the injunction, issued by District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty in July, was “vague and broader than necessary.”

“Ultimately, we find the district court did not err in determining that several officials—namely the White House, the Surgeon General, the CDC, and the FBI—likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media, platforms to moderate content, rendering those decisions state actions,” the court wrote. “In doing so, the officials likely violated the First Amendment.”

Doughty granted a broad injunction barring President Joe Biden’s administration from collusion with pro-censorship nonprofit organizations, in addition to social media companies, in the free speech lawsuit Missouri v. Biden. The injunction found that government officials likely violated the First Amendment by suppressing protected speech, and the order states that government actors are barred from “collaborating, coordinating, partnering, switchboarding, and/or jointly working with” research groups and projects that advocate for censorship.

The court axed nine of ten provisions of the injunction but kept provision six, which bars officials from “threatening, pressuring, or coercing” companies to remove speech, though it altered the language to avoid capturing “otherwise legal speech.”

“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,” the new provision reads. “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,” the ruling explained. “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.”

The court also extended the Biden administration’s request to fully freeze the injunction for ten days pending their application to the Supreme Court.

Judges Jennifer Walker Elrod, a George W. Bush appointee; Edith Brown Clement, a George H. W. Bush appointee; and Don R. Willett, a Trump appointee, issued the ruling.

During oral arguments, Elrod compared the Biden administration’s relationship with Big Tech to the mob, where they never actually “spell out” consequences but “everybody just knows.”

“The first brick was laid in the wall of separation between tech and state on July 4th, and this ruling is yet another brick,” Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey tweeted in response to the decision. “Missouri will continue to lead the way in the fight to defend our most fundamental freedoms.”




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Leftists Argue Government Censorship is the Highest Form of Speech


The Left will fight to the death for the right of the government to silence you. 

When Judge Terry Doughty issued an injunction in Missouri v. Biden that banned the government from “specifically flagging content or posts on social-media platforms and/or forwarding such to social-media companies urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner for removal, deletion, suppression”, all hell broke loose.

Evelyn Douek, a Stanford law professor, formerly of the Knight First Amendment Institute, warned that preventing the government from colluding with corporations to censor citizens would have a “chilling effect on communication between the government and platforms.”

In traditional free speech jurisprudence, ‘chilling effects’ were inflicted by the government, but Douek is worried that free speech might have a chilling effect on government censorship. After advocating, in cases like Lamont v. Postmaster General, that any interference with speech, no matter how odious including, in the aforementioned Supreme Court case, asking recipients of Communist propaganda to affirmatively agree to receive it, entailed a ‘chilling effect’, liberals don’t want to chill the censors, instead they’re worried that civil rights will chill censorship.

Even though it’s the height of summer, chilling effects on censorship were on display.

Liberals who might have once worried about free speech now fret that the government will be inhibited from censoring free speech. According to CNN, “Legal experts say that the order is overly broad and scholars on online misinformation warned that it could have a chilling effect on the government’s efforts to curtail lies about public health emergencies and elections.”

Nina Jankowicz, Biden’s former disinformation czar, popped up to argue that, ”it’ll have a chilling effect on government and academia, ensuring that officials and researchers think twice before trying to counter those spreading conspiracies and false information.”

The axis of concern had shifted from worrying that government action would inhibit free speech to agonizing that judicial interference would prevent the government from inhibiting free speech.

The existence of ‘chilling effects’ in free speech cases testified to the degree to which we protected free speech from even the faintest tinge of indirect discouragement. Now, lefty academics and experts want to not only reverse the polarities of free speech, but they are just as worried that any protection for free speech will interfere with government censorship.

Its new victims are not civilians who engage in political speech, but government censors.

To justify this inversion of civil rights, they have also inverted the concept of censorship so that the true form of free speech is to prevent others from speaking.

According to Leah Litman, a law professor at the University of Michigan, preventing the government from censoring citizens was… censorship.

Litman told NPR that the injunction “literally prevents the federal government from sending emails to social media companies about their content moderation policies or having meetings with social media companies about taking down speech and posts. And so that prevents speech, really important speech, from ever happening.”

The most important speech is government speech that suppresses the speech of the public.

If government censorship is speech, then any interference with government censorship is a violation of free speech. And the government must be allowed to censor everyone lest its really important speech be restrained from taking place. And then where would we be, except free?

Judge Terry Doughty was attacked by pro-censorship leftists for invoking George Orwell’s 1984 and yet that same faction insists on ‘literally’ arguing that censorship is speech.

Crying censorship has become the last resort of censors who demand the right to censor.

When Gov. Ron DeSantis and other governors signed laws barring Big Tech monopolies from deplatforming candidates for public office, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, whose members include Amazon, Google and Facebook, sued in the name of free speech.

“We are bringing this suit to safeguard the industry’s free speech,” CCIA boss Matt Schruers claimed. “A digital service that declines to host harmful content is exercising its own First Amendment rights.”

“Section 7 does not chill speech; if anything, it chills censorship,” the Fifth Circuit court replied.

“We reject the Platforms’ efforts to reframe their censorship as speech. It is undisputed that the Platforms want to eliminate speech—not promote or protect it. And no amount of doctrinal gymnastics can turn the First Amendment’s protections for free speech into protections for free censoring.” But that hasn’t stopped the totalitarian gymnastics from going forward.

After arguing that censorship by some of the biggest companies in the world was really speech, lefty legal scholars are arguing that government censorship is free speech, and that when judges prevent the government from censoring, the government’s speech is being violated.

The official Biden administration position is that it is entitled to censor in the event of emergencies.

“We’re not going to apologize for promoting responsible actions to protect public health, safety and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic or foreign attacks on our elections,” Sharon Yang, a White House spokeswoman, argued.

These deadly challenges and foreign attacks included a video mocking Jill Biden and a Twitter account impersonating Biden’s granddaughter. Biden officials insisted on having these and many other posts, accounts and materials that they disliked taken down.

Emergencies have never been anything other than an excuse for a broad censorship scheme.

Liberals have abandoned even the pretense of caring about free speech. Laurence Tribe, a lefty constitutional law professor, co-authored an op-ed complaining that the injunction “seems to maintain that the government cannot even politely ask companies not to publish verifiable misinformation.”

What would Tribe’s view be on the Nixon administration “politely” asking the media not to spread lies about the Vietnam War, the Reagan administration “politely” asking the media not to lie about the War on Drugs, and the Bush administration “politely” asking the media not to lie about the War on Terror? Any such suggestions, no matter how mild, were greeted with rabid rage.

“The First Amendment certainly doesn’t prevent them from merely asking,” Tribe contends, and preventing the government from doing so “would turn the Constitution’s protection of free expression in an open society into an obstacle course for some of the most valuable exchanges of information and ideas we can imagine.” The most valuable exchanges of ideas apparently involve asking social media monopolies to take down content mocking the president.

Lefty legal scholars keep arguing that government censorship is the highest form of speech.

After abandoning free speech, lefty legal scholars now celebrate the virtues of censorship in the glowing language once used for promoting reverence for a free exchange of ideas. Forget an open society, a truly valuable exchange of ideas consists of government officials telling huge corporations whom to censor this morning.

None of this is remarkable when you go back to the origins of lefty support for free speech.

In 1934, Roger Nash Baldwin, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the ACLU, quite clearly explained why he was fighting for civil liberties. “I champion civil liberty as the best of the non-violent means of building the power on which worker’s rule must be based. If I aid the reactionaries to get free speech now and then, if I go outside the class struggle to fight against censorship, it is only because those liberties help to create a more hospitable atmosphere for working class liberties. The class struggle is the central conflict of the world; all others are incidental. When that power of the working class is once achieved, as it has been only in the Soviet Union, I am for maintaining it by any means whatever.”

The American Left believes it has gained enough power that it no longer sees any value in maintaining protections for free speech, at least at a federal level, and has publicly switched its enthusiasm from speech to censorship. It now lovingly speaks of the valuable “speech” of government censors and of the ‘chilling effects’ of extremist judges who interfere with them.

There are still select conservative enclaves where the Left pretends to care about free speech. Should parents persuade a middle school library to pull a work of hard core LGBTQ pornography off the shelves, the Left will describe this as an attack on the First Amendment. But otherwise, freedom of speech has been buried in the same unmarked grave as freedom of religion with the bulk of the First Amendment soon set to join the Second Amendment.

Censorship is becoming speech and speech is becoming censorship. The real threat to civil liberties comes from people interfering with the speech of censors telling them to “shut up”.

In a world where governments have rights and people have none, the right to censor is the only right. And if they disagree with you, liberals will fight to the death for the right of the government to silence you.


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Federal Judge Denies Biden Admin’s Request To Keep Coordinating With Big Tech To Censor Americans

A federal judge denied the Biden administration’s attempt to pause an injunction that bars federal officials from communicating with social media companies for the purposes of censoring protected speech on Monday.

The Biden administration appealed Western District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty’s July 4 injunction on Wednesday, also requesting an emergency order to pause the injunction while the appeal is pending on Thursday night. Doughty denied the administration’s emergency order Monday, finding that plaintiffs would likely succeed in proving the government colluded with social media companies “to engage in viewpoint-based suppression of protected free speech.”

“Although this Preliminary Injunction involves numerous agencies, it is not as broad as it appears,” Doughty wrote. “It only prohibits something the Defendants have no legal right to do—contacting social media companies for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner, the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms. It also contains numerous exceptions.”

Doughty highlighted multiple examples of alleged censorship, such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials providing examples of misinformation topics to Facebook, the FBI’s refusal to tell Facebook whether the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) holding recurring meetings with social media platforms on “misinformation, disinformation, and/or censorship of protected free speech on social media.”

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey and Louisiana Attorney General Jeffrey Landry opposed the Biden administration’s attempt to stop the injunction in a court filing Sunday, writing the administration was essentially asking to “continue violating the First Amendment.”

“In essence, Defendants argue that the injunction should be stayed because it might interfere with the Government’s ability to continue working with social-media companies to censor Americans’ core political speech on the basis of viewpoint,” they wrote in the court filing. “In other words, the Government seeks a stay of the injunction so that it can continue violating the First Amendment.”





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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.