It's been a great week for justice.
The states of Missouri and Louisiana are suing the Federal Government, alleging that they colluded with big tech to silence non-state-sponsored opinions about COVID and masking (among other things) on social media. This isn't a news flash to anyone, but the states are right.
I won't get into all the legalese because even though it interests me, it would likely bore you to tears. Still, Missouri and Louisiana are alleging that the Biden administration colluded with big tech to censor opinions and facts it doesn't like, which is an infringement on the 1st Amendment rights of the citizens who live in that state. It is also a direct affront by the Federal government to those states.
In lawsuits, you have to produce discovery. And, in the expedited discovery that the judge granted, the government has already been cornered. They colluded with social media companies to silence Americans. The emails they were forced to produce PROVE they did, and now the states want to expand the entire thing to even MORE agencies.
Of course, the government doesn't want to produce anything, stating it would be "burdensome" and claiming that records are covered by "executive privilege." (Fancy how that seems only to work one way). The judge ordered the two parties to try to come to some sort of agreement, and they couldn't, so he made the decisions for them. That ruling came today, and it sure isn't good for the government.
Here is what was decided today in the order for expedited discovery. This isn't typical discovery that will proceed in the normal course; this is discovery on an expedited timetable due to the potential harm and to justify a temporary injunction stopping the government from colluding with private entities to quelch free speech. Or, to say it another way, the judge is super concerned about the Biden administration engaging in FASCISM.
First, the government said, "Well, if they get this discovery on us, then we want it on them too!" They didn't define what they want or why; they just said, "Judge, make them give us stuff because we have to give them stuff!" The judge smacked it down. Denied.
Then, the government refused to comply with court-ordered interrogatories in the case, seeking information from Karine Jean-Pierre in her acting role as Press Secretary and Anthony Fauci in his role as Chief Medical Advisor to the President. The government tried to claim this information was all privileged, and the states argued that they weren't looking for INTERNAL communications between those two and the President, but OUTSIDE communications with social media companies. The judge has now ruled that these two must turn over ALL of their communications with social media companies on an expedited schedule and that this is inherent to the Plaintiff's case. Smackdown from the judge. Recipient? Government. The judge also intimates that the social media companies have already turned over some responsive documents (they sure have) and that it isn't burdensome for the government to have to do the same.
Just ponder for a moment what we are going to find in all of those emails when THIS has ALREADY been revealed:
Additionally, the government tried to weasel around providing any responsive information regarding the department of Health and Human Services.
"Plaintiffs also served interrogatories and document requests on HHS. Plaintiffs allege that HHS effectively exempted itself from discovery responses by only providing information from its agencies, the Surgeon General's office, NIAID, and the CDC. Plaintiffs further alleged that Meta (one of the third-party social media platforms) disclosed several senior officials, outside of the CDC, the Office of Surgeon General, and NIAID, that likely engaged in responsive communications with Meta, including HHS's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement, the head of HHS's Digital Engagement Team, the Deputy Director of the Office of Communications in HRSA, and HHS's Deputy Digital Director. Plaintiffs allege none of these officials, or communications, were disclosed to Plaintiffs by HHS in answering the discovery requests."
Well, Meta came in to save the day. When it responded to expedited discovery, it provided information that identified individuals within the Health and Human Services Department who were communicating with Meta about "misinformation." The judge has now ordered the government to respond fully to this discovery request within 21 days. TWENTY-ONE DAYS.
Bottom line? The government has really stepped in it here. The little discovery that has been obtained already proves what we have all known; that the government colluded with and directed major social media companies to censor and ban Americans who refused to toe the line and stick with the pre-approved (and incorrect) script when it comes to COVID-19. But the case has broader implications than just COVID.
These companies have been hiding under Section 230 to attempt to squelch all dissent for years. It's just the very first time we have been able to see it in black and white. They didn't need a "disinformation" governance board. They were just pushing the envelope. I have been saying all along that it was just a guise to see if the American people would actually accept it. Instead, they have been engaged in fascism, squelching all dissent and using the boot of the government to harm their citizens.
There is going to be more to this case, as the judge has addressed the additional defendants the states want to add, including the State Department, the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA"), the Census Bureau, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the U.S. Treasury Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations. What a playground THAT is going to be! Imagine for a moment the FBI forced to hand over all of the communications about COVID "Mis, dis, and mal-information" that it has had over the past few years. And why is the Election Assistance Commission involved? 2020 election, anyone?
This is a very big deal. A VERY big deal.
Brave judges are going to save this country. I just wish there were more of them.