The Supreme Court on Friday granted a request from the Biden administration to temporarily block a lower court’s order that would limit the ability of government officials to communicate with social media companies about their content moderation policies. The Biden administration contends that it has sought only to “mitigate the hazards of online misinformation” by flagging content that violated the social media platforms’ own policies. But two states and several individuals whose social media posts were removed or downgraded counter that the government “coerced, threatened, and pressured social-media platforms to censor” them, in violation of the First Amendment.
The justices have also agreed to consider the merits of this case in their 2023-24 term. They will add another social media issue to their current docket. Three justices – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch – indicated that they would have denied the Biden administration’s request, calling Friday’s order “unreasoned” and “highly disturbing.”
The lawsuit was brought by five plaintiffs, including doctors and epidemiologists who argued that their social…