A lower court has already ruled that the administration colluded with social media companies like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to limit speech by deleting posts that opposed White House policies or simply had the gall to oppose Biden politically.
The administration began its suppression strategy by playing upon COVID-19 fears saying it was targeting social media "misinformation" about the virus and its vaccines. But Missouri's attorney general says much more is in play as Biden tramples over one of America's most basic constitutional rights: the First Amendment.
"This lawsuit has uncovered a relationship of coercion and collusion by the Biden White House across a spectrum of federal bureaucratic agencies to target and silent American voices on Big Tech social media platforms," Bailey said on American Family Radio Tuesday. "We all saw it happening, right? We all saw the deplatforming, the shadow banning – but what we didn't know is that it was going on at the behest of federal officials … and that's what this lawsuit has uncovered."
The case will be heard by a three-judge panel. Earlier media reports speculated the case could draw the entire Fifth Circuit roster of 17 judges.
Bailey believes the case is too strong to lose. "I'm confident in the ultimate success of the merits. We're not going to let Joe Biden destroy free speech in America," he told show host Jenna Ellis.
Bailey said the case, co-signed by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, has produced more than 20,000 documents as the two have deposed numerous witnesses.
Um, could you please define 'misinformation'?
Through it all, the government has never answered the question of how it defines "misinformation."
According to Bailey, posts targeted by the government were all "core political speech."
"It's a violation of the First Amendment to censor that speech," he noted. "Secondly, the speech they censored under the guise of misinformation and dangerous … it all ended up being true. Third, when asked to provide one example of a voice that was censored at the behest of the government that wasn't a conservative voice, the only example they had was Robert Kennedy, a political opponent of Joe Biden. So, they're clearly targeting viewpoints here."
In the summer of 2021, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters about a "new campaign" to combat virus misinformation. It was immediately questioned by conservative news outlets. A story by The Daily Caller blasted "Big Brother Biden," a reference to George Orwell's novel 1984.
Psaki said the campaign primarily involved asking social media companies to be more active in policing misinformation and to report their results publicly. Soon, however, the scope of the mission widened, the Missouri AG explained.
"We have every reason to believe it has expanded beyond COVID topics and has moved into election topics, global warming, transgender issues, abortion issues," Bailey said. "Basically, the Biden administration feels that if they don't like anything you're saying, they can silence you on Big Tech social media platforms."
Facebook has censored what it calls "hate speech," and conservatives like evangelist Franklin Graham have been targeted. And Twitter, now known as "X," was known for banning users, even President Donald Trump, in the days before it was purchased by Elon Musk.
Social media companies have long claimed that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act excludes them from free speech laws. In spirit, Section 230 is designed to give these websites, which host massive amounts of information, immunity from constant lawsuits from those who feel wronged or oppressed.
While there has been some level of acceptance for the Big Tech giants policing themselves, the level of censorship pushed by the government exceeded what the companies were doing on their own. In fact, it became commonplace, according to Bailey.
House Oversight Committee lends a hand
In addition to his staff's own discovery efforts, Bailey's case benefited by running parallel with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) (pictured) and the House Oversight Committee's investigation into Biden family corruption.
"Congressman Jordan's yeoman's work in this space has clearly corroborated our case and further proven our point," Bailey shared. "We can show you in the emails we've received in our discovery that the White House and other federal officials were demanding censorship of the Big Tech social media platforms.
"In a series of emails from March to May in 2021, there's the White House communications office saying, 'Hey, Big Tech social media, take down that Tomi Lahren post, take down that Tucker Carlson video, deemphasize anyone that's questioning whether the vaccine works, deplatform anyone who's questioning mask mandates.' We can show you the direct link between the federal government and Big Tech social media."
In July, Judge Terry A. Doughty of Louisiana's Western District agreed with Bailey that the government's censorship seemed to always apply to conservative voices.
"It is quite telling that each example or category of suppressed speech was conservative in nature," the judge wrote. "This targeted suppression of conservative ideas is a perfect example of viewpoint discrimination of political speech. American citizens have the right to engage in free debate about the significant issues affecting the country."
As reported earlier by AFN, show host and syndicated columnist Josh Hammer believes there's a good chance the Fifth Circuit will uphold the opinion that found the government's communication with social media sites was "too Orwellian" to remain intact.