Supreme Court Extends Stay In Biden Administration Social Media Case

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a reception celebrating Eid-al-Fitr in the East Room of the White House on May 1, 2023 in Washington, DC. The White House hosted the event to mark Eid a... WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a reception celebrating Eid-al-Fitr in the East Room of the White House on May 1, 2023 in Washington, DC. The White House hosted the event to mark Eid al-Fitr, which is celebrated by Muslims worldwide for the end of the month-long Ramadan. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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The Supreme Court further extended its administrative stay of a lower court ruling banning Biden administration officials from flagging misinformation to social media companies on Friday. 

The Biden administration had requested the stay earlier this month after a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals panel held that the FBI, White House, Surgeon General and CDC had “coerced” social media companies in violation of their First Amendment rights. The administration wants the lower court order paused until the Court decides to take up the case — and if it does, until it hands down a ruling. 

The new administrative stay expires just before midnight on September 27. 

Much of the “censorship” the appellate court condemned consisted of various government officials flagging misinformation on the platforms, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The administration’s filing was heated, calling the decision “startling,” “novel and disruptive” and a “radical extension” of current doctrine.

The Supreme Court quickly handed down a brief administrative stay earlier this month, which was set to expire just before midnight on Friday. 

The appellate court’s decision narrowed the initial ruling handed down by Donald Trump appointee District Judge Terry Doughty, who’d included even more government officials in his ban.

He’d also been more heavy-handed with his language, calling the government-social media company interaction a “dystopian scenario,” in which the “United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’”

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