Appeals Ct Drags Censorship ‘Nerve Center’ Into Free Speech Injunction

October 4th, 2023 4:00 PM

A federal appeals court has now barred the infamous Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) from coordinating with Big Tech platforms to censor online speech.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit revised a preliminary injunction to include CISA after Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who led the suit, successfully filed a motion to expand an earlier order in the Missouri v. Biden landmark case. The court agreed, effectively rebuking CISA’s “frequent interactions with social media platforms to push them to adopt more restrictive policies on censoring election-related speech.” These actions, the court found, “violated the First Amendment.”

In response to the massive free speech victory, Bailey took to X (formerly Twitter) to slam the federal agency. “CISA is the ‘nerve center’ of the vast censorship enterprise, the very entity that worked with the FBI to silence the Hunter Biden laptop story,” Bailey wrote in a post. “When it comes to defending the Constitution, Missouri doesn't back down.”

MRC Vice President Dan Schneider echoed these remarks in reaction to the injunction. “CISA thought it was getting off scot-free, but luckily the Fifth Circuit came back swinging,” Schneider said. “These anti-free speech zealots must watch their back because I predict the Supreme Court will strongly scold the federal government and their assault against free speech. No mas.”

The revised injunction now prohibits CISA Director Jen Easterly and other anti-free speech zealots at the agency from unleashing actions that “coerce or significantly encourage” social media platforms to remove or limit the promotion of the targeted posts. An earlier version of the injunction included the scandal-plagued White House, the U.S. Surgeon General, the mandate-obsessed CDC and the FBI, but it spared CISA because it argued Bailey had not presented sufficient proof that the agency had coerced Big Tech platforms.

Bailey hinted at an imminent fight in the Supreme Court, as the Biden regime has pledged to appeal. “We look forward to defending your First Amendment rights at the nation's highest court,” the Missouri attorney general added. 

Following the initial injunction, the Department of Justice begged the Court to temporarily pause the order, claiming it needed time to properly file an appeal. In turn, the Court blocked the injunction but suspended the order after the Fifth Circuit agreed to hear Bailey’s new motion.  The revised injunction cleared the way for the Court to weigh in on whether to take the case or not. 

Notably, the MRC Free Speech America’s unique database, which is curated daily by researchers, is central to the landmark lawsuit. 

Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.