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A federal judge denied a request from President Joe Biden‘s administration, saying that he would not grant a stay of his own order barring the administration from contacting social media companies.
U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty denied the request on Monday, which was meant to allow members of the Biden administration to continue communicating with social media companies until the case has been appealed.
Doughty issued the initial order, after reviewing what he said amounted to “evidence of a massive effort by Defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content.” On July 4th, Doughty said that based on said evidence, many within the Biden Administration would be barred from meeting or communicating with social media companies.
The injunction does not affect everyone in the administration, but does target a few key players in the White House and in top federal agencies. Among them are specific White House officials — including Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre — and agencies and certain officials from the Homeland Security Department, the Health and Human Services Department, the DOJ and FBI.
Some exceptions will be made particularly for law enforcement agencies with regard to efforts to flag criminal behavior, elevate national security concerns, and uncover potential election tampering.
The Biden administration quickly responded with a promise to appeal, filing the notice on July 5th, and had asked that a stay be granted in the meantime.
The initial case, filed by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri, alleged that the federal government had engaged in collusion with social media companies in an effort to censor what they considered to be “disfavored speech.”
Doughty, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, appeared to agree with the attorneys general and issued the injunction in response.