Federal Judge Pairs Landmark Cases Against Government Censorship

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Washington, D.C. – Federal Judge Terry A. Doughty, United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, issued an order on Monday consolidating the class action lawsuit, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Children’s Health Defense, et al v. Biden, et al., and Missouri, et al. v. Biden, et al.

Both cases are actions against the Biden administration for allegedly colluding with social media platforms to censor the speech of citizens on many topics including COVID-19.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Children’s Health Defense, et al. v. Biden, et al., filed on March 23, 2023, alleges that the defendants, including President Biden, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, and a number of agencies – including the CDC, HHS, DHS, CISA, NIAID, Census Bureau, and the FBI – colluded with and pressured social media companies to suppress speech that runs counter to government narratives and silence specific speakers who are critical of federal policy. The case additionally alleges a violation of the First Amendment right to receive information and ideas on behalf of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), a nonprofit organization representing consumers of health information nationwide.

Missouri, et al. v. Biden, et al., filed in May 2022 by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (now U.S. Senator Schmitt) and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, seeks to “expose how top Biden Administration officials allegedly colluded with social media companies to censor freedom of speech,” according to a joint statement filed by Landry and Schmitt in September 2022.

Judge Doughty ordered the consolidation of the two cases “for all purposes” including discovery.

“What we’ve witnessed over the past three years is the most intense assault on free speech in the history of our nation,” said Kennedy, CHD’s chairman on leave. “Consolidating these two cases is a turning point, allowing us to better determine exactly how such massive censorship was formulated and executed so we can prevent it from ever happening again.”

On July 4, Judge Doughty issued a preliminary injunction limiting U.S. officials’ contact with social media platforms, writing in his 155-page opinion,

“The right of free speech is a fundamental constitutional right that is vital to the freedom of our nation. … Defendants’ alleged suppression has potentially resulted in millions of free speech violations. Plaintiffs’ free speech rights thus far outweighs the rights of Defendants, and thus, Plaintiffs satisfy the final elements needed to show entitlement to a preliminary injunction.”

In response to the Judge’s preliminary injunction, Senator Schmitt sent a letter to the 19 individual defendants in Missouri, et al. v. Biden, et al., including President Joe Biden and Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, demanding compliance with the Court’s ruling and receipt of all correspondence with social media companies aimed at censoring speech.

“Accountability is coming for those in the Biden Administration who sought to censor viewpoints they disagreed with or disliked online,” said Schmitt in a press release. “I will continue to stand up for the First Amendment and work to end the Biden Administration’s vast censorship enterprise once and for all.”

In yesterday’s order, Judge Doughty rejected the Missouri, et al. v. Biden, et al. plaintiffs’ argument that Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s involvement would “politicize” the case, noting that, “… this Court does not decide cases based on politics, but based on the United States Constitution.”

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About Children’s Health Defense:

Children’s Health Defense is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to end childhood health epidemics by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable and establish safeguards to prevent future harm. We fight corruption, mass surveillance and censorship that put profits before people as well as advocate for worldwide rights to health freedom and bodily autonomy.

For more information or to donate to CHD and our ongoing lawsuits, visit ChildrensHealthDefense.org.