No, Dear, There is a First Amendment RIght

Court Hands Down A MASSIVE Victory for Freedom on the Fourth of July

Court Hands Down A MASSIVE Victory for Freedom on the Fourth of July
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
On Independence Day, July 4, 2023, the forces of freedom won a major victory, and the Biden regime suffered a historic defeat. May there be many more days like this.

The Biden regime is authoritarian to the core. Like every hard-Left authority in the history of the world, it is intolerant of dissent and determined to stamp out all opposition, not by defeating it at the ballot box, and certainly not by besting it in the court of public opinion, but by forcibly silencing it. But on Tuesday, Judge Terry Doughty, Chief U.S. district judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, put a massive roadblock in the way of Biden’s handlers’ ongoing efforts to ensure that only their own perspective can be heard in the American public square.

In a landmark ruling in Missouri v. Biden, Doughty struck back hard against what he called “the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history.” Doughty even began his decision by quoting the most famous adage regarding the importance of the freedom of speech: “I may disapprove of what you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it,” a statement that is often attributed to Voltaire but which Doughty credits to the early twentieth-century English writer Evelyn Beatrice Hall (whom he mistakenly calls Hill, but that doesn’t detract from the power of his ruling).

Doughty declares that “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.” He noted that “Plaintiffs allege that Defendants, through public pressure campaigns, private meetings, and other forms of direct communication, regarding what Defendants described as ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation,’ have colluded with and/or coerced social-media platforms to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms.”

Specifically, Doughty noted:

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants suppressed conservative-leaning free speech, such as: (1) suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story prior to the 2020 Presidential election; (2) suppressing speech about the lab-leak theory of COVID-19’s origin; (3) suppressing speech about the efficiency of masks and COVID-19 lockdowns; (4) suppressing speech about the efficiency of COVID-19 vaccines; (5) suppressing speech about election integrity in the 2020 presidential election; (6) suppressing speech about the security of voting by mail; (7) suppressing parody content about Defendants; (8) suppressing negative posts about the economy; and (9) suppressing negative posts about President Biden.

All that is abundantly true, and there are plenty of other examples of the regime’s hatred of dissent as well. Regime spokesbeings, however, will tell you that all they really want to do is protect poor, ignorant, distracted, gullible Americans from “disinformation.” It became clear when the Biden regime established its ill-fated and quickly disbanded Disinformation Governance Board that it had decided that labeling reports that departed from the officially approved line as “disinformation” was a likely winning strategy, both to circumvent the First Amendment and to hoodwink Americans into thinking that the crushing of dissent was a valuable service.

Related: Stanford University Launches New Censorship Initiative to Save ‘Our Democracy’ by Destroying It

Doughty, however, pointed out that it was not the government’s role at all to silence opposition voices; rather, he reminds us that “the principal function of free speech under the United States’ system of government is to invite dispute; it may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.” This is as far from the Biden regime’s conception of the function of free speech as Los Angeles is from Pluto’s moons, and that’s precisely why this ruling is so urgently needed, and so welcome.

Doughty wrote: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’ The Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence in support of their claims that they were the victims of a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign.” He added: “It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature. This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate about the significant issues affecting the country.” Yes, they do, and in Missouri v. Biden, Doughty has done a great deal to protect that right. This decision prohibits the government from working with social media giants to censor American citizens.

Will the regime fight back? Almost certainly. Will it craft a deceptive, Orwellian, disingenuous, paternalistic argument for censorship based on its claimed responsibility to protect Americans from “disinformation”? That seems likely as well. But the more it fights in cases of this kind, the more its authoritarian nature becomes clear. Will Americans quietly accept the yoke of censorship? We have a history of resisting tyranny. It is no accident, comrade, as Biden’s Marxist friends would say, that Doughty’s ruling came on Independence Day.


So, Joe, Where IS The Best Place to Store Classified Documents?

A timeline of how the Biden classified documents scandal unfolded

WASHINGTON – President Biden, a fierce critic of former President Donald Trump’s alleged mishandling of hundreds of classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021, now finds himself accused in a similar situation.

After it was revealed late Monday that Biden’s personal attorneys found classified documents from his time as vice president improperly stored in an office closet at his DC think-tank, the president himself stunned reporters Thursday by admitting that other sensitive papers were found in the garage of his Wilmington, Del. home — where he also keeps his classic Corvette.

Hours later, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced for the second time that he was appointing a special counsel to investigate a current or former president for potential misconduct related to classified information.

Here’s how the scandal has unfolded:

Biden found one set in a DC think tank, the other in his Delaware garage.
Biden announced that two sets of classified documents of his were found.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Sept. 18, 2022 – Biden calls Trump “totally irresponsible” for storing top-secret documents at Mar-a-Lago

In an interview with “60 Minutes,” Biden chastises Trump for having classified papers at his private estate.

“When you saw the photograph of the top-secret documents laid out on the floor at Mar-a-Lago, what did you think to yourself?” asks CBS News’ Scott Pelley. “Looking at that image.”

“How that could possibly happen. How one– anyone could be that irresponsible,” Biden answers. “And I thought, ‘What data was in there that may compromise sources and methods?’ By that I mean names of people who helped or th — et cetera. And it just — totally irresponsible.

  • Nov. 2, 2022 – Biden’s attorneys find classified documents stashed at the Penn Biden Center in Washington

Six days before the midterm elections, Biden’s personal lawyers discover 10 documents with classified markings — some of them labeled “top secret” — in a locked closet while clearing out his office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.

The documents are dated from between 2013 and 2016 and included intelligence memos and other material concerning Iran, Ukraine and the United Kingdom. According to CNN, the documents are mixed in with Biden family papers, including details of the funeral arrangements for the president’s late son Beau, who died of a brain tumor in 2015.

  • Nov. 4, 2022 — The National Archives contacts the Justice Department, saying the documents have been found and secured in an Archives facility
  • Nov. 8, 2022 — Democrats perform better than expected in the midterm elections, losing a net of just nine seats in the House of Representatives and gaining a seat in the Senate
  • Nov. 9, 2022 — The FBI begins an “assessment” of whether the classified material was mishandled in violation of federal law
  • Nov. 14, 2022 –Garland assigns Chicago US Attorney John Lausch to lead an initial investigation to determine whether Garland should appoint a special counsel
  • Nov. 18, 2022 – Garland announces special counsel in Trump case
These document were found in the Penn Biden Center.
Six days before the midterm elections, Biden’s personal lawyers discover 10 documents with classified markings.
AFP via Getty Images

Garland appoints veteran federal prosecutor Jack Smith as special counsel to determine whether former President Donald Trump will face federal charges in connection with his retention of the sensitive government documents in Florida.

Smith, a former federal prosecutor in the Brooklyn and Nashville, Tenn., US Attorney’s offices — as well as a former Manhattan assistant district attorney — remains in charge of the ongoing case to date, but no charges have been filed.

  • Dec. 20, 2022 — Biden’s personal attorney tells Lausch more classified documents have been found in the garage of Biden’s Wilmington, Del. home
  • Jan. 5, 2022 — Lausch advises Garland to appoint a special counsel
  • Jan. 9, 2023 – The public is first told of the mishandled Biden documents
The agency collected the papers the next day.
Biden’s attorneys notified the National Archives about the documents the same day they were found.
Joe Biden

CBS News reports on the documents found at the Penn Biden Center, the FBI and DOJ involvement, and the appointment of Lausch.

That evening, the White House releases a statement by Richard Sauber, special counsel to the president, saying that Biden’s attorneys notified the National Archives about the documents the same day they were found, and the agency took possession of the materials the next day.

with Archives and the Department of Justice in a process to ensure that any Obama-Biden Administration records are appropriately in the possession of the Archives.”

  • Jan. 10, 2023 – Biden makes first public statement about Penn documents

At a news conference in Mexico City, the president reads a prepared statement claiming that “I take classified documents, or classified information seriously.”

“I was briefed about this discovery and surprised to learn that there were any government records that were taken there to that office,” Biden says. “But I don’t know what’s in the documents. My lawyers have not suggested I ask what documents they were. I’ve turned over the boxes, they’ve turned over the boxes to the Archives, and we’re cooperating fully, cooperating fully with the review, which I hope will be finished soon and there’ll be more detail at that time.”

  • Jan. 11, 2023 — Classified documents reported found at second location

NBC News reports that Biden aides have found more classified documents at a second location, but does not specify where

Trump denied all wrongdoing when the documents were found.
Biden previously blasted the classified documents found in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.
  • Morning of Jan. 12, 2023 — Biden attorney tells Lausch one additional classified document found at the Wilmington home
  • Morning of Jan. 12, 2023 — White House, Biden confirm documents found in garage

Sauber confirms additional documents were found “in storage space in the President’s Wilmington residence garage,” leading to a memorable back-and-forth between Biden and Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy.

“Classified materials next to your Corvette? What were you thinking?” Doocy asks.

“My Corvette is in a locked garage, OK? So it’s not like they’re sitting out on the street,” Biden replies.

“So it was in a locked garage?” Doocy follows up.

“Yes, as well as my Corvette,” Biden admits.

  • Afternoon of Jan. 12, 2023 – Garland appoints special counsel to investigate Biden documents

Garland taps former Maryland US Attorney Robert Hur as special counsel to investigate how the classified documents ended up in Biden’s private possession.

“Under the regulations, the extraordinary circumstances here require the appointment of a special counsel for this matter,” Garland tells reporters at the Justice Department.

“This appointment underscores for the public the department’s commitment to both independence and accountability in particularly sensitive matters and to make decisions indisputably guided only by the facts, and the law.”