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White House disagrees with judge’s order on social media in Missouri v. Biden

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The U.S. Department of Justice will review a U.S. District Court injunction requested by Republican Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey prohibiting President Joe Biden’s administration from some communication with social media companies.

Judge Terry A. Doughty, appointed by former President Trump to the U.S. District court for the Western District of Louisiana, issued a 155-page memorandum on Tuesday explaining his decision for prohibiting nine government agencies – including the FBI and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security – and their leaders and employees from 10 actions or interactions with social media companies. However, Judge Doughty also provided a list of allowed actions and interactions with social media companies regarding criminal activity, national security threats, criminal efforts to suppress voting and other areas.

Judge Doughty’s injunction will be in effect until the case is resolved or District Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the order.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, who was named in the injunction, said on Wednesday the Department of Justice is reviewing the order.

“I don’t want to get ahead of what they will be evaluating and what their options could potentially be,” Jean-Pierre told reporters during a briefing. “So I’m not going to get ahead of the DOJ. If you’re asking me if we agree or disagree, we certainly disagree with this decision.”

The lawsuit, Missouri v. Biden, was filed by former Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt before he was elected to the U.S. Senate last November.

“Today’s court win is a huge win for the First Amendment and a blow to censorship,” Schmitt posted on social media. “… The Biden Administration created a vast censorship enterprise. It needs to be dismantled.”

Bailey filed the motion for the injunction granted by Doughty.

“We must build a wall of separation between tech and state to preserve our First Amendment right to free, fair and open debate,” Bailey said in a statement.

While respecting the court ruling, Jean-Pierre said the White House isn’t changing communications with social media companies.

“We are going to continue to promote responsible actions to protect public health, safety and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our election,” Jean-Pierre said. “So we’re going to continue to do that and promote that in a responsible way. Our view remains that social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take action or to take account of the effects their platforms are having on the American people, but make independent choices about the information they present. They are a private entity and it is their responsibility to act accordingly.”

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