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America’s Future Files Amicus Brief With SCOTUS In Blockbuster Censorship Case

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On Friday, February 9, 2024, America’s Future filed an Amicus brief with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in Murthy v Missouri, Dkt No 23-411, a case concerning politically motivated online censorship carried out by bad actors embedded in our federal government. America’s Future filed its brief in support of the plaintiffs-respondents, the states of Missouri and Louisianna, along with five individual litigants.  This is the second brief filed by America’s Future in this case. The first brief was filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on August 7, 2023, and can be accessed here. The SCOTUS public docket in this case is located here.

SCOTUS has scheduled oral arguments in this case for March 18, 2024, which will be live streamed and available to the public through the SCOTUS website at

In this case, the SCOTUS announced it will resolve the following issues:

  1. Whether respondents have Article III standing. 
  2. Whether the government’s challenged conduct transformed private social-media companies’ content-moderation decisions into state action and violated respondents’ First Amendment rights; and
  3. Whether the terms and breadth of the preliminary injunction are proper.

A summary as to how this litigation came to be, is explained in our brief, as follows,

On May 5, 2022, Missouri, Louisiana, and five individual Plaintiffs filed suit against President Biden and a large number of officials in his administration.  The lawsuit alleged a large-scale government “Censorship Enterprise” that partnered with Big Tech social media companies to censor and suppress speech about major topics. The Plaintiffs alleged that the Biden Administration had pressured social media companies to promote government-approved speech and censor speech critical of the administration and its policies, including with regard to COVID, election interference, and posts critical of Biden personally.

Our brief further expresses the travel of this case from the federal district court of the Western District of Louisiana (i.e., the trial court) to the SCOTUS, stating,

On Independence Day, 2023, a district court judge, the Hon. Terry A. Doughty, issued “a comprehensive opinion and preliminary injunction forbidding most of the federal government ‘urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner social-media companies to remove, delete, suppress, or reduce posted content protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution’.”

The Independence Day decision and order of Judge Doughty, detailed above, was 155 pages and included blockbuster revelations that at least twenty White House officials communicated with Twitter, now X, about misinformation and censorship.  And to quote the plaintiff-respondents SCOTUS brief of February 2, 2024, this was just the “tip of the iceberg.” 

Following the Independence Day ruling, the government defendant-appellants appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  After the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the preliminary injunction issued by Judge Doughty, the government applied for a stay of the injunction with the SCOTUS, which was granted.  Currently, the SCOTUS is treating the government’s application for a stay as a petition for a writ of certiorari and therefore, will hear arguments and resolve the case on its merits.
The First Amendment of our Constitution states, in part, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.” Therefore, as enshrined in our Bill of Rights, the federal government is prohibited from taking action that abridges, suppresses, or censors our right to speak freely.  

Social media platforms serve as our public square.  As Americans, we have every right to discuss and debate issues that impact us, our families, and our communities. When government officials silence dissent, they reject the Constitution, pervert freedom, and demonstrate a destructive fear of truth.

Our brief urges the SCOTUS to affirm the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and further resolve this case in favor of the plaintiff-respondent states and individuals. As pointed out in our brief,

If the First Amendment’s prohibition on the government “abridging freedom of speech” is to mean anything, it must mean that the government cannot censor public speech by threatening the entities that control the forums where the public gathers to discuss the important topics of the day…

The record contains undisputed evidence that, as repeal of Section 230 was discussed, government agents communicated coercive demands that platforms censor opposing views. Based on this long track record of coercion, and how it continues, injunctive relief is fully justified.

Consistent with our Constitution and God-given rights to live in freedom as opposed to merely existing in tyranny, we, at America’s Future, stand for freedom, liberty, and the American way.  We stand against government censorship, compromised government officials, and exactly the type of covert corruption that has been brought to light over the past few years.  We applaud Judge Doughty’s courage, thoroughness, and brut honesty from the bench.  America needs more judges like him – judges faithful to the law, willing to stand up for America, speak truth to power, and impartially decide cases and controversies without fear or favor.

Editor’s Note: To read all of our Amicus briefs, please visit our Law & Policy page.

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