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Murthy v. Missouri

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Formerly Missouri v. Biden.

On May 5, 2022, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey filed a lawsuit accusing the Biden administration, federal agencies, and top health officials of colluding with tech companies in a “coordinated campaign” throughout the COVID pandemic to remove disfavored content and suppress the expression of disfavored views, in violation of protected speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.


July 4, 2023: Judge Terry A. Doughty of the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a partial preliminary injunction on merits that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed “in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition.”

September 8, 2023. The 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals narrowed the preliminary injunction, which both eased its restrictions and upheld the central premise that the Administration's actions had violated free speech rights under the First Amendment.

September 26, 2023: US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy files for a stay of the preliminary injunction in the US Supreme Court. The case is renamed Murthy v. Missouri.

October 3, 2023: The 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals agreed to re-hear the case and issued a modified preliminary injunction. While most of the prohibitions were vacated, the Court maintained that the defendants “cannot coerce or significantly encourage a platform’s content-moderation decisions.”

October 20, 2023: The US Supreme Court agreed to take up the case in its 2023-24 term when it granted a stay to the lower court’s preliminary injunction, lifting restrictions between administration officials and social media companies, and treated the application for stay as a writ of certiorari. Justice Alito, joined by Justice Gorsuch and Justice Thomas, wrote the stay’s dissenting opinion.

March 18, 2024. The Supreme Court holds oral argument.

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