Case Overview

From behind the scenes, various government officials from the Biden administration pressured, cajoled, and intimidated social media platforms into censoring speech and particular speakers that the officials didn’t like. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that this egregious behavior violated the First Amendment, and entered an injunction blocking those officials from continuing to do so.

This type of illegal government pressure is known as jawboning. While this case may involve Biden officials, Republican government actors are just as guilty of it, including former President Trump and the two government plaintiffs in this case. FIRE filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to affirm the Fifth Circuit and establish that backroom government pressure on private parties to censor violates the First Amendment.