U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocks order in Missouri social media lawsuit

United States Supreme Court (Phot credit Laura Olson - States Newsroom)

(Missouri Independent) – The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a lower court’s order limiting executive branch officials’ discussions with social media companies about controversial online posts.

The lawsuit was originally filed by former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry alleging the federal government colluded with social media companies like Twitter and Facebook to suppress the freedom of speech.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans last month prohibited the White House, the Surgeon General’s Office, the F.B.I., and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from having practically any contact with the social media companies. It found that the Biden administration most likely overstepped the First Amendment by urging the major social media platforms to remove misleading or false content.

On Friday, the Supreme Court placed a temporary stay on the order until it decides the case. It also agreed to immediately take up the government’s appeal, meaning it will hear arguments and issue a ruling on the merits in its current term, which runs until the end of June.

Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch dissented.

“Today,” Alito wrote in his dissent, a majority of the court, without undertaking a full review of the record and without any explanation, suspends the effect of the injunction until the court completes its review of this case, an event that may not occur until late in the spring of next year.”

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey called Friday’s announcement “the worst First Amendment violation in our nation’s history. We look forward to dismantling Joe Biden’s vast censorship enterprise at the nation’s highest court.”

(Photo credit Laura Olson – States Newsroom)

Jason Hancock


Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.