Social Media Censorship Case May Go to the Supreme Court

The White House has one week to decide whether it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a recent ruling that the Biden administration overstepped its bounds in working to censor Americans’ social media posts.

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late Friday that the White House, FBI, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Surgeon General’s Office may have violated the First Amendment when it coordinated with social media companies to limit posts on topics like COVID-19 and the 2020 election.

Judge Terry Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ruled in Louisiana and Missouri v. Biden et al., ordering in an injunction that top Biden officials to stop pressuring social media companies to remove content deemed “misinformation.”

The federal appellate court backed that ruling, albeit more narrowly, pushing back on federal censorship by proxy.

“Social-media platforms’ content-moderation decisions must be theirs and theirs alone,” the court said.

State officials who launched the legal effort said the Biden administration violated the First Amendment.

“This is a significant victory for the American people,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in a statement after the ruling. “And it confirms what we have said from the very beginning: The federal government is not permitted to engage in viewpoint censorship, no matter your political ideology.”

The White House told the media in a statement Friday that it would review the case and make a decision on whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.