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Supreme Court hears Missouri election speech case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week heard arguments in the case of Murthy v. Missouri, which some observers believe could affect conversations about the 2024 election The justices will decide if a temporary ban on the Biden administration limiting their communication with social media companies should stay in place while the merits of the case are litigated in lower courts.

The case stems from a lawsuit brought by state attorneys general from Missouri and Louisiana that accused high-ranking government officials of working with giant social media companies “under the guise of combating misinformation” that ultimately led to censoring speech on topics that included Hunter Biden’s laptop, COVID-19 origins and the efficacy of face masks.

The Justice Department has argued that the temporary ban will cause “irreparable harm” because it may prevent the federal government from “working with social media companies on initiatives to prevent grave harm to the American people and our democratic processes.”

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey disagreed.

“I think it is absolutely critical that that injunction be affirmed as we move into this election cycle in order to continue to build the wall of separation between tech and state, in order to protect our election and integrity as part of our First Amendment right to free speech,” he said. “In other words, if you look at the speech that was suppressed, censored at the federal government’s demand, it was exclusively conservative speech. Having the injunction in place ensures that there is a free, fair and open marketplace of ideas and that the federal government isn’t discriminating against one viewpoint in order to rig the election.”

The Supreme Court, when it agreed to hear arguments over the injunction in the case, temporarily lifted the injunction until it makes a final decision. Still, Bailey said he feels confident the high court ultimately will rule in the states’ favor.

“One of the elements that we had to prove in order to obtain the preliminary injunction was a likelihood of success on the merits,” he said. “We’ve put on evidence, the trial court made factual findings. I believe that there is a sufficient reason to believe that we’re likely to succeed on the merits, and I think the court is going to review that.”

Constitutional lawyers and political analysts believe the Biden administration will lose the case.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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