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Supreme Court Allows Biden Admin to Censor Americans for a Little Bit Longer

The Supreme Court on Friday extended its stay on an injunction blocking the Biden administration from coercing or significantly encouraging social media companies to censor speech.

Justice Samuel Alito temporarily froze the injunction until Sept. 22 last week after the Biden administration requested a stay. On Friday, the justices extended the stay to Sept. 27.

The Fifth Circuit affirmed Sept. 8 that the White House, Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI violated the First Amendment. But it narrowed the original injunction against the government issued by District of Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty, excluding the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and other officials from its coverage.

“Ultimately, we find the district court did not err in determining that several officials—namely the White House, the Surgeon General, the CDC, and the FBI—likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media, platforms to moderate content, rendering those decisions state actions,” the court wrote. “In doing so, the officials likely violated the First Amendment.”

The government claimed in its application to the Supreme Court that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling placed “unprecedented limits on the ability of the President’s closest aides to use the bully pulpit to address matters of public concern.” Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote that the government would file its petition for a writ of certiorari by Oct. 13 but said the Court could construe the application as a petition if it “wishes to expedite matters further.”

In its response to the Biden administration’s request for a stay, the plaintiffs requested Wednesday that the Supreme Court weigh in on whether the Fifth Circuit erred in eliminating CISA from the injunction, should it decide to review the case on its merits.

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