AG Bailey files motion to block Media Matters’ Missouri court shutdown

Media Matters for America website
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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a motion to prevent Media Matters from shutting down a Missouri court after the nonprofit filed a motion in a D.C. court to halt his investigation into its alleged fraudulent business practices. General Bailey initiated a lawsuit against Media Matters in March to compel the nonprofit to produce documents pertinent to his investigation, and that litigation is still active in state court.

“Media Matters is attempting to shut down Missouri courts by filing a motion in a D.C. court to halt our investigation and lawsuit into their fraudulent practices,” stated Attorney General Bailey. “D.C. courts have no jurisdiction over Missouri courts. I have filed a motion to keep this suit in Missouri, where it belongs. I will not allow Media Matters to flee to a D.C. court to circumvent Missouri law.”

Media Matters came under scrutiny after allegations emerged that it deceitfully manipulated X’s (formerly Twitter) algorithm to position advertisers’ content adjacent to deliberately controversial posts, causing X to incur significant financial losses when affected advertisers withdrew their investments from the site. Media Matters has been vocal in its criticism of X for its refusal to censor unpopular viewpoints.

AG Bailey launched his investigation in November 2023 following revelations that Media Matters solicited donations from Missourians under false pretenses to target X, in direct contravention of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

In his opposition motion, General Bailey wrote, “The Supreme Court has been clear, stating that the actions attempted by Media Matters impose ‘evils’ on federal courts. Huffman v. Pursue, Ltd., 420 U.S. 592, 608 (1975). It is, therefore, unsurprising that other federal courts regularly dismiss attempts by parties like Media Matters to challenge state subpoenas in federal court when a state proceeding is already underway. For instance,, LLC v. Hawley, No. 4:17-CV-1951, 2017 WL 5726868 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 28, 2017) (citing Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971)). As the Supreme Court has consistently emphasized, federal courts lack the equity jurisdiction to issue orders that effectively shut down ongoing state court proceedings. Media Matters is free to present all of its arguments in Missouri state court.”

The motion filed by General Bailey can be viewed here.

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