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Tags: judge | social media | communications | ban | delay | request

Judge Denies Biden Request to Delay Social Media Order

By    |   Monday, 10 July 2023 02:20 PM EDT

A federal judge in Louisiana denied a request by the Biden administration to delay an order he imposed last week banning federal officials from communicating with social media companies, Bloomberg reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty on Monday refused to pause his July 4 nationwide injunction blocking multiple government agencies and administration officials from meeting with or contacting social media companies for the purpose of "encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech."

Doughty, nominated to the federal bench by then-President Donald Trump, also denied the government's alternative request for a seven-day pause while it petitions the appeals court to step in.

The Justice Department is expected to ask the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene, Bloomberg reported.

DOJ had insisted that Doughty's order was broad and unclear in defining what kind of communication with tech companies is no longer allowed.

The judge responded by saying the government isn’t entitled to a delay in enforcing his order since they were likely to lose on the merits of the case, Bloomberg reported.

Doughty added that DOJ failed to identify specific examples of government activity that would be hurt in the meantime.

"[The injunction] it is not as broad as it appears," Doughty wrote in the order. "It only prohibits something the Defendants have no legal right to do — contacting social media companies 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 also contains numerous exceptions."

Doughty last week ruled the government likely violated the First Amendment in its efforts to persuade tech companies to take steps to limit the spread of misinformation and fake accounts, especially during the pandemic.

The Biden administration wants the ban put on hold while it challenges the judge’s 155-page opinion.

Doughty's order bars many agencies and their employees from "urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing" social media companies to remove or restrict content covered by the First Amendment's free speech protections.

The judge included exceptions for communications about criminal activity, national security threats, election integrity issues, and other "permissible public government speech," Bloomberg reported.

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A federal judge in Louisiana denied a request by the Biden administration to delay an order he imposed last week banning federal officials from communicating with social media companies, Bloomberg reported.
judge, social media, communications, ban, delay, request
372
2023-20-10
Monday, 10 July 2023 02:20 PM
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