Washington, DC (December 19, 2022) – A video released by the New Civil Liberties Alliance exposes backdoor dealings between federal officials and Big Tech to censor the private speech of Americans. Public statements, emails, and recently released documents establish that senior officials from the White House and at least eleven federal agencies and sub-agencies, including the FBI, directed social-media companies to censor viewpoints that conflict with the government’s messaging on Covid-19. NCLA, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, has filed two lawsuits seeking to expose the extent of this federal censorship enterprise and to put a stop to unlawful federal-government censorship in the public square.
NCLA represents Drs. Jayanta Bhattacharya, Martin Kulldorff, and Aaron Kheriaty, as well as Jill Hines, Co-Director of Health Freedom Louisiana. These plaintiffs are part of the State of Missouri ex rel. Schmitt, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al. lawsuit, in which NCLA joined the Missouri and Louisiana attorneys-general in suing the Biden Administration over government-sponsored censorship on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Ongoing disclosures from discovery in the lawsuit have revealed that the federal censorship enterprise is enormous and far-reaching. The new video also features Mark Changizi, a cognitive theoretical scientist and one of multiple plaintiffs, along with Daniel Kotzin and Michael Senger, in Changizi, et al. v. HHS, et al., who are suing the U.S. Surgeon General and HHS after Twitter suspended their accounts due to government-directed censorship.
The First Amendment bars the government from determining what is true or false, online or anywhere. So, this demonstrated collusion between private companies and the government rises to the level of state action and violates the Constitution. Censorship poses enormous danger to free speech and the future of scientific inquiry.
Excerpts from the video:
“If you start messing with the public square and ensuring or trying to decide what’s true, you are undermining the very process, the only process that we have to find truth. … I’m hoping, at some point, my voice is able to pierce the envelope that they’ve kept me in.”
— Mark Changizi, Lead Plaintiff, Mark Changizi, et al. v. Department of Health and Human Services, et al.
“An individual has a right to determine what’s best for themselves. The government does not get to make that decision for them. … They’re not here to help me stay well, from a virus. Their job is really to protect my rights.”
— Jill Hines, Plaintiff, State of Missouri ex rel. Schmitt, et al. v. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., et al.
“The government’s involvement in big tech censorship is one of the worst civil liberties violations I think this country has ever seen. … The government cannot use private companies to accomplish what it can’t do directly, and that’s a First Amendment violation.”
— Jenin Younes, Litigation Counsel, NCLA
“This was an action of the Administrative State rather than the private action of the social media companies. … In between [the] Changizi and Missouri v. Biden [cases], more information came out about what the government did. It’s a constant stream of direction from the government to every single one of these social media platforms. … Under the First Amendment, neither Congress nor the President could do this, and neither can the administrative agencies.”
— John J. Vecchione, Senior Litigation Counsel, NCLA
NCLA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group founded by prominent legal scholar Philip Hamburger to protect constitutional freedoms from violations by the Administrative State. NCLA’s public-interest litigation and other pro bono advocacy strive to tame the unlawful power of state and federal agencies and to foster a new civil liberties movement that will help restore Americans’ fundamental rights.