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Supreme Court rejects Republican-led challenge to remove misinformation from social media

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by Louisiana and Missouri accusing the White House of violating the First Amendment by urging social media sites to limit false or misleading information online.
Social Media
Posted at 7:09 AM, Jun 26, 2024

The United States Supreme Court rejected a challenge Wednesday from Republican-led states over the Biden administration's efforts to limit misinformation online.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri and five individuals arguing that the Biden administration violated the First Amendment when it contacted social media companies such as Facebook and YouTube in 2022 and asked them to take down misleading information, particularly about the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 presidential election.

The plaintiffs argued that it should be up to social media sites — as private companies — to determine what content and opinions are allowed on their platforms. They also accused the White House of attempting to silence conservative viewpoints online.

The Biden administration argued that if it sees misinformation related to national security or misinforming the general public, it should be able to step in and ask social media companies to remove information that has the potential to be detrimental.

In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court threw out lower court rulings that sided with the plaintiffs' argument that the Biden administration unconstitutionally attempted to oppress conservative viewpoints online. Justice Amy Coney Barrett issued the majority opinion, stating that the plaintiffs did not have standing to sue.

"To establish standing, the plaintiffs must demonstrate a substantial risk that, in the near future, they will suffer an injury that is traceable to a Government defendant and redressable by the injunction they seek," she wrote. "Because no plaintiff has carried that burden, none has standing to seek a preliminary injunction."