DeSantis scathes SCOTUS social media censorship ruling

by | Jun 26, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling favoring the Biden administration in a social media dispute, claiming it allows for indirect censorship by the federal government, which he argues undermines constitutional protections.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday criticized the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that favored the Biden administration in a significant social media dispute, arguing that it paves the way for indirect censorship methods that, he claims, skirt constitutional safeguards.

Reacting to the decision, DeSantis voiced concerns that the ruling ostensibly endorsed a model where the federal government could engage in what he termed as “sophisticated” censorship.

“The Court majority has rubber-stamped a way for the federal government to censor speech that it doesn’t like,” DeSantis said in a post on X. “The Court is telling would-be censors: you can’t directly censor speech but if you pursue a sophisticated plan with enough subtlety you can get away with doing indirectly what the Constitution clearly forbids you from doing directly.”

The case, Murthy v. Missouri, centered on allegations by Republican-led states that federal officials, including those from the White House and various health and security agencies, improperly pressured social media platforms to suppress conservative viewpoints under the guise of curbing misinformation, with the states contended this pressure violated the First Amendment rights.

However, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, dismissed these claims on Wednesday, not on the merits of the allegations but because the states failed to demonstrate they had the legal standing to sue.

Writing for the majority, Justice Amy Coney Barrett noted that the plaintiffs did not show a direct, personal injury that a court ruling could remedy, thus barring the court from ruling on the substance of the case.

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito, joined by Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, argued that the states had indeed shown sufficient harm and criticized the majority for not addressing what he considered a severe threat to free speech.


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