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