Free Speech And The Fifth Circuit

Whether or not the federal government and its myriad agencies will be able to coerce, cajole, encourage, threaten, and browbeat social media companies into removing views it does not like from their platforms was the question before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

The government made an expedited appeal of the July 4th order of the district court in Louisiana prohibiting it from directing or commanding social media companies from taking down content the government did not like. In barely a month, the issue was briefed by the parties, including the states of Missouri and Louisiana and individual plaintiffs, Jay Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, Aaron Kheriaty, Jill Hines, and Jim Hoft, barred from various social media platforms for their statements disliked by the government.

While the parties and the court were concerned with issues of standing and the scope of the injunction, the key issue at the heart of the case was: What protections do Americans have to stop the government from throwing them out of the modern public square of social media by pressuring Big Tech companies to do what the government is absolutely prohibited from doing under the Constitution?

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John J. Vecchione | “In Landmark Free Speech Case, Fifth Circuit Judge Likens Government Coercion Of Big Tech To ‘Mob’ Boss” | August 15th, 2023


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