For anyone paying the slightest bit of attention, it’s easy to see that in recent years the executive branch has grown far too powerful in size and scope compared to the two other “co-equal” branches of government. It’s imperative that the judicial and legislative branches of government approach this problem with the urgency it deserves and step up their efforts to check the seemingly endless list of executive branch abuses. Thankfully, there’s some evidence that this is starting to happen.
Our nation’s founders warned us about this clear and present danger, but over the course of our 247 year history, the executive branch has expanded to such an extent that it now plays a central role in just about every aspect of our daily lives. As its unconstitutional actions during the COVID-19 pandemic made abundantly clear, the vast unelected federal bureaucracy has become an existential threat to our God-given freedom and liberties and therefore must be dealt with accordingly.
That’s why Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (now U.S. Senator) and others filed suit against President Joe Biden and several members of his administration for allegedly violating the First Amendment and its bedrock free speech protections. The opinion and preliminary injunction issued are a huge win for the freedom of speech and a decisive blow to the left’s growing proclivity to censor conservatives who dare speak out against the position of the state and its agents, which now includes the mainstream media. It comes as no surprise that the Biden Justice Department announced that it will be appealing.
It was a shock to the system to read the 155-page ruling outlining how this institution-destroying behavior is being carried out by officials at the highest levels of the executive branch under the leadership of President Biden. U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty wrote that “The Plaintiffs have presented substantial evidence in support of their claims that they were the victims of a far-reaching and widespread censorship campaign. This court finds that they are likely to succeed on the merits of their First Amendment free speech claim against the Defendants.”
This critically important lawsuit shows the Biden Administration’s cozy relationship with powerful social media platforms and the conspiracy they entered into to suppress speech, debate and thought that is contrary to their policies or a threat to their remaining in power. To put it bluntly, what’s happening in your government in the year 2023 would have made 1984 author George Orwell blush.
The topics the government didn’t want the American people to have access to included criticism of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy, which were legitimate; attacks on the wisdom of pandemic lockdowns, which turned out to be well-founded; theories that COVID-19 originated in a lab in Wuhan China, which turned out to be true; and reports concerning Hunter Biden’s laptop, which turned out to be 100 percent real and could have been the difference maker in the razor thin 2020 presidential election.
Judge Doughty also barred at least 40 specific officials from the White House, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies from engaging with social media companies in the future “for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms…” It’s worth noting that the order extends to some agencies in their entirety.
Attacks on the First Amendment are not the only way that Joe Biden and his monarchical administration are seeking to abuse power – far from it. Look no further than the Supreme Court’s recent ruling to stop the president’s unconstitutional student loan forgiveness program that he has no authority to implement without an act of Congress. The list truly goes on and on; from unilateral open border directives to politicized executive orders requiring federal workers to prioritize registering voters, to extreme regulations relating to climate change, Biden’s executive branch is off the rails. Moreover, the harmful rhetoric aimed at delegitimizing the Supreme Court and non-compliance with congressional subpoenas have all the classic earmarks of a branch of government that thinks it answers to no one.
It’s been said that without First Amendment rights, there are no others. Every American needs to consider the weight of that statement regardless of political affiliation. It’s a slippery slope and once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. Let’s all agree that any attempt by government to control the free flow of ideas has no place in America and any administration engaged in censorship must be held accountable by the other branches of government over and over again until the corrosive activity ceases. We owe Attorney General Landry and Senator Schmitt a debt of gratitude for having the courage to stand tall for free speech.
David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President in 2016. @David_Bossie @Citizens_United