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Judge Doughty issued an important 155 page ruling in the matter of Missouri v. Biden today, July 4
Freedom of Speech must never again be shuttered, trampled on or blasphemied as the crime of "Misinformation, Disinformation or Malinformation"
Judge Doughty used 721 footnotes. He must have amazing young clerks. And on page 3 the good Judge included the following quotes to remind us why July 4 and our nation’s principles are so important to uphold:
For if men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the slaughter.
George Washington, March 15, 1783.
Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the free acts of speech.
Benjamin Franklin, Letters of Silence Dogwood.
Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error.
Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one place to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
Harry S. Truman
This is what Judge Doughty wrote, in small part:
“This case is about the Free Speech Clause in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The explosion of social-media platforms has resulted in unique free speech issues— this is especially true in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history. In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment’s right to free speech. Although the censorship alleged in this case almost exclusively targeted conservative speech, the issues raised herein go beyond party lines. The right to free speech is not a member of any political party and does not hold any political ideology.
The Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence in support of their claims that they were the victims of a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign. This court finds that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their First Amendment free speech claim against the Defendants. Therefore, a preliminary injunction should issue immediately against the Defendants . . . .”
The NY Times is apparently not all in on free speech. They prefer censorship. See how the Gray Lady “All the news that fits, we print” falsely spins this decision as impeding efforts to stop human trafficking.
A federal court in Louisiana on Tuesday barred parts of the Biden administration from communicating with social media platforms about broad swaths of content online, a ruling that could curtail efforts to combat false and misleading narratives about the coronavirus pandemic and other issues.
In the ruling, Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana said that parts of the government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, could not talk to 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.”
Judge Doughty said in granting a preliminary injunction that the agencies could not flag specific posts to the social media platforms or request reports about their efforts to take down content. The ruling said that the government could still notify the platforms about posts detailing crimes, national security threats or foreign attempts to influence elections.
The ruling was a victory for Republicans and other conservatives who have filed a series of lawsuits accusing the government of cajoling or coercing Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media companies to censor its critics. Although the ruling is likely to be appealed by the administration, its impact could be sweeping, forcing government officials, including law enforcement agencies, to refrain from notifying the platforms of troublesome content.
Government officials have argued they do not have the authority to order posts or entire accounts removed, but they have long cooperated with Big Tech to take action against illegal or harmful material, especially in cases involving criminal activities like child sexual abuse or human trafficking. That has also included regular meetings to share information on, for example, the Islamic State and other terrorist groups.
But this is what the Order said on page 5—hard for the NY Times’ so-called journalists to miss—
The White House did not immediately offer a comment. Google and Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Twitter did not immediately have a comment.
I can’t help saying that my medical license was immediately suspended—without a hearing or any chance to defend myself—in January 2022 for spreading misinformation, and yet every bit of what the state of Maine claimed was misinformation has been revealed as truth. My license remains suspended, but soon the state of Maine will learn what the First Amendment is all about.