Supreme Court conservatives clash over ruling on Biden’s social media influence

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Supreme Court conservatives clash over ruling on Biden’s social media influence

Conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court clashed over Wednesday’s ruling in favor of President Biden’s administration.

The Court ruled 6-3 that the plaintiffs, a group of conservative states and social media users, had no standing to sue the federal government over its attempts to influence the censorship policies of social media giants. Justice Amy Coney Barrett authored the opinion of the court, but Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Barrett, speaking for the court, argued none of the plaintiffs had established that they were under threat in the case.

“To establish standing, the plaintiffs must demonstrate a substantial risk that, in the near future, they will suffer an injury that is traceable to a Government defendant and redressable by the injunction they seek. Because no plaintiff has carried that burden, none has standing to seek a preliminary injunction,” Barrett wrote.

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Conservatives on the U.S. Supreme Court clashed in Wednesday’s ruling in favor of President Biden’s administration. (Getty Images)

Alito blasted the majority opinion in his written dissent, which Thomas and Gorsuch joined. He said the Court’s opinion “unjustifiably refuses” to intervene on behalf of the “victims” of COVID-era censorship.

“For months in 2021 and 2022, a coterie of officials at the highest levels of the Federal Government continuously harried and implicitly threatened Facebook with potentially crippling consequences if it did not comply with their wishes about the suppression of certain COVID–19-related speech,” Alito wrote.

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Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito blasted the majority opinion in his written dissent, which Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh joined. (Getty Images)

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito blasted the majority opinion in his written dissent, which Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh joined. (Getty Images)

“I assume that a fair portion of what social media users had to say about COVID–19 and the pandemic was of little lasting value. Some was undoubtedly untrue or misleading, and some may have been downright dangerous. But we now know that valuable speech was also suppressed. That is what inevitably happens when entry to the marketplace of ideas is restricted,” he continued.

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“These victims simply wanted to speak out on a question of the utmost public importance,” he added.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that plaintiffs did not have standing to sue the federal government over COVID-era censorship. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

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Wednesday’s ruling overturns a lower court ruling that sided with the plaintiffs and imposed an injunction against White House officials meeting with major tech companies. That injunction is now lifted.

The injunction had applied to several federal officials and agencies — including some of Biden’s Cabinet members and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

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