Those Americans who remain in favor of the First Amendment and free speech just received another major win in court on Tuesday, as a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans barred the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) from working with and the social media titans to censor speech about elections.
Particularly, the Fifth Circuit panel ruled that CISA has used its frequent interactions with the social media companies to encourage or push those platforms to start adopting restrictive policies on speech. Particularly, CISA pushed for restrictions on speech related to elections, something important to many conservatives given their concerns about recent elections and, relevantly to this ruling, the censorship of those who discussed their dissident perspectives on the matter.The decision was itself a revisal of a court’s September order in Missouri v. Biden, with the September order narrowing a lower court’s ruling in the case and spelling out when government officials can communicate with social media companies and not violate the First Amendment in doing so.
This latest decision reopens the original holding somewhat, barring CISA, its director and top officials at the agency from doing anything that would “coerce or significantly encourage” social media platforms and tech companies to remove or reduce the spread of election-related posts.Kari Lake, commenting on the latest Fifth Circuit ruling, said, “This Orwellian censorship of free speech under the pretense of battling ‘misinformation’ is one of the most egregious attacks on free speech in our Nation’s history.”
Continuing, she added, “I’m encouraged to see this judge intercede on behalf of the First Amendment, free discourse, and fair elections. Our voice is the strongest weapon we have in the fight against tyranny and we will never stop using it. This is a MASSIVE win for free speech.”That came alongside her office saying, in a press release, “On Tuesday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an injunction prohibiting CISA from taking actions that “coerce or significantly encourage” tech companies to remove or reduce the spread of posts. In June 2022, Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer concluded a letter to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) claiming that, ‘Responding to misinformation is my day job. My night job is running elections.‘”
Continuing, her office said, “While Stephen Richer was just one foot soldier in the war against free speech, today’s injunction prohibits CISA from doing the very thing Richer brags about: censoring free speech under the pretense of protecting people from ‘misinformation.‘”Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce the victory, saying, “🚨BREAKING: We’ve just obtained an injunction against CISA, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, that blocks them from violating the First Amendment rights of millions of Americans. The order also applies to the White House, Surgeon General, CDC, and FBI.”
“If you don’t remember, the Fifth Circuit already handed down a court order blocking the Biden Administration from silencing disfavored viewpoints. CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency housed in DHS) was originally not included in the Fifth Circuit’s order,” he added. “We filed a motion asking the Fifth Circuit to include CISA in their court order blocking further First Amendment violations. It was granted,” he saidHe then said, “CISA is the “nerve center” of the vast censorship enterprise, the very entity that worked with the FBI to silence the Hunter Biden laptop story.” He continued, “When it comes to defending the Constitution, Missouri doesn’t back down.”
Ending his lengthy tweet thread on the matter, AG Bailey said, “Joe Biden has promised to appeal to the United States Supreme Court. We look forward to defending your First Amendment rights at the nation’s highest court.”