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Censorship Industrial Complex

Kennedy, CHD win injunction in landmark censorship case against Biden administration

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From LifeSiteNews

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website.

The court recognized that the “right of free speech is a fundamental constitutional right that is vital to the freedom of our nation, and the Kennedy plaintiffs have produced evidence of a massive effort by defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content.”

A federal judge on Wednesday handed Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Children’s Health Defense (CHD) a partial win in their landmark censorship case alleging the Biden administration colluded with social media platforms to unlawfully censor online content.

Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting key Biden administration officials and agencies from coercing or significantly encouraging social media platforms to suppress or censor online content.

However, Judge Doughty simultaneously issued a stay on the injunction until 10 days after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a similar case, Murthy v. Missouri.

That case, filed in May 2022 by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana and several individual plaintiffs, was originally filed as Missouri v. Biden.

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on March 18 on a preliminary injunction in Murthy v. Missouri.

Mary Holland, CHD president, told The Defender that the Valentine’s Day ruling was “a welcome Valentine to the Kennedy plaintiffs,” and “an important victory for the U.S. Constitution.”

She added:

“In a thorough decision, Judge Doughty reasoned that the plaintiffs do have ‘standing’ or the right to sue and be heard; that the defendants have engaged in coercion or significant encouragement to censorship and joint action with social media platforms; and that the court is required to issue the preliminary injunction.

“Further, because it is well-established that violations of free speech rights constitute irreparable injury, the Court acted even before an ultimate decision from the Supreme Court in Murthy v. Missouri. Judge Doughty wrote: ‘This Court … finds the balance of equities and the public interest strongly favors the issue of a preliminary injunction.’

“No doubt the Supreme Court will take account of this ruling as it hears oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri on March 18.”

The suit was filed on behalf of the more than 80% of Americans who access news through social media.

Judge Doughty consolidated Kennedy v. Biden and Murthy v. Biden in July 2023. Both cases were being argued in his court and had the same defendants and many common legal and factual issues.

Although the cases were consolidated, Doughty ruled that the District Court continues to have jurisdiction over Kennedy and CHD’s separate motion for a preliminary injunction, underscoring the fact that a delayed ruling would delay Kennedy from vindicating his claims.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not respond to The Defender’s request for comment.

‘The right of free speech is a fundamental constitutional right’

In his 24-page ruling, Judge Doughty found that several of the defendants in the Kennedy et al. v. Biden lawsuit were violating the plaintiffs’ free speech rights under the First Amendment, causing irreparable harm. He ordered them to cease these violations.

The court recognized that the “right of free speech is a fundamental constitutional right that is vital to the freedom of our nation, and the Kennedy plaintiffs have produced evidence of a massive effort by defendants, from the White House to federal agencies, to suppress speech based on its content.”

Plaintiffs alleged Biden administration officials “waged a systematic, concerted campaign” to compel the nation’s three largest social media companies to censor constitutionally protected speech.

The government, the lawsuit alleges, pressured social media platforms to directly suppress or censor Kennedy and CHD from major platforms and to do the same to content containing views about COVID-19 and other issues that contradicted the government narrative.

Kennedy and CHD argued the court should rule on the preliminary injunction now, because the case is different from Murthy v. Missouri, asks for a more specific injunction and because the defendants singled out Kennedy, who is a U.S. presidential candidate, for censorship.

In determining the merits of the plaintiffs’ motion, Doughty first had to rule on whether the plaintiffs had standing. On that issue, “the court provided strong concrete examples of government coercion or encouragement to censor, particularly with respect to Mr. Kennedy and CHD,” said Kim Mack Rosenberg, CHD general counsel.

Doughty cited evidence that defendants labeled Kennedy as part of the “Disinformation Dozen” who were eventually censored from social media and that some of CHD’s social media posts were also censored.

He also noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) worked with the Virality Project to reduce or delete social media posts by people and organizations they believed to be spreading “misinformation” about COVID-19.

The Virality Project explicitly listed Kennedy and CHD in the fifth and second place as the highest performing weekly social-media engagement incidents, he wrote.

“This evidence also was key in the Court’s decision that plaintiffs met all the requirements to support issuing the injunction and that the balance of equities favored plaintiffs here,” Mack Rosenberg added.

Doughty also found the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim, writing:

“As in Missouri v. Biden, the White House Defendants and the Surgeon General Defendants both coerced and significantly encouraged social-media platforms to suppress protected free speech.

“This Court further finds the CDC Defendants, the CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] Defendants and the FBI Defendants significantly encouraged social-media platforms to suppress protected free speech.”

Defendants ‘likely’ to use their power to suppress alternative views in the future

The defendants have argued that the actions at stake occurred in the past and cannot be remedied by issuing an injunction prohibiting future actions and that there is no “imminent harm” to the defendants because the COVID-19 pandemic and the election where the alleged conduct occurred are in the past.

However, Doughty ruled that the alleged past actions also indicate there is a substantial risk of likely future harm.

“Defendants apparently continue to have meetings with social-media companies and other contacts,” he wrote, adding:

“Although the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer an emergency, it is likely that in the event of any other real or perceived emergency event, the Defendants likely would once again use their power over social-media companies to suppress alternative views.

“And it is certainly likely that Defendants could use their power over millions of people to suppress alternative views or moderate content they do not agree with in the upcoming 2024 national election.”

Although Doughty granted a substantial part of Kennedy et al.’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the White House, the surgeon general, the CDC, FBI and the CISA, he also denied the request for an injunction against several other agencies.

The injunction excluded the U.S. Department of State, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, who were also included in the plaintiffs’ request.

The Defender on occasion posts content related to Children’s Health Defense’s nonprofit mission that features Mr. Kennedy’s views on the issues CHD and The Defender regularly cover. In keeping with Federal Election Commission rules, this content does not represent an endorsement of Mr. Kennedy who is on leave from CHD and is running for president of the U.S. as an independent candidate.

This article was originally published by The Defender — Children’s Health Defense’s News & Views Website under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Please consider subscribing to The Defender or donating to Children’s Health Defense.

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Lawmakers, conservatives blast WHO plan for ‘global governance’ on future pandemics

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From LifeSiteNews

By Calvin Freiburger

“The treaty would put us under the thumb of the U.N. and communist China and the WHO for whatever they wanted to declare a crisis, whether it’s poverty crisis, or a gun violence crisis or a climate crisis, or a health crisis, and make us listen to the WHO. That is not constitutional.”

Republican lawmakers and conservative activists rallied outside the U.S. Capitol Thursday morning to raise awareness of and opposition to a global pandemic agreement that they say poses a grave threat to national sovereignty and basic freedoms.

On May 27, the World Health Assembly (the governing forum of the World Health Organization’s 194 member nations) is slated to meet and finalize the details of the WHO Pandemic Agreement, on the surface a plan to better handle global health crises like COVID-19 in the future. However, critics have found a number of alarming details in the drafts that have been released.

The Washington Stand’s Ben Johnson explains that the plan’s February 8-15 draft “redistribute 20% of all U.S. ‘pandemic-related products’’ to other nations,” empower censorship for the sake of preventing an “infodemic” of “too much information” and “false or misleading information” from creating “mistrust in health authorities and undermin[ing] public health and social measures,” and institute a “Conference of the Parties” to alter the deal further via a two-thirds vote.

An updated draft released April 16 drops the “infodemic” language in favor of a shorter and more vague statement about “[r]ecognizing the importance of building trust and ensuring timely sharing of information to prevent misinformation, disinformation and stigmatization”; but retains the redistribution language as well as the Conference of the Parties’ amendment power–meaning that the most objectionable aspects of earlier drafts could be restored once the agreement is adopted.

On Thursday, the Sovereignty Coalition organized a press conference to make their opposition to “global governance” known. Participants included U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), U.S. Reps. Bob Good (VA-5), Chris Smith (NJ-4), Chip Roy (TX-21), and other members of Congress; Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, Tea Party Patriots Action president Jenny Beth Martin, Center for Security Policy executive chairman Frank Gaffney, and Women’s Rights without Frontiers and Anti-Globalist International president Reggie Littlejohn, among other heads of conservative groups.

“This is the most important issue that is getting the least amount of attention relative to its importance,” declared Good. “The treaty would put us under the thumb of the U.N. and communist China and the WHO for whatever they wanted to declare a crisis, whether it’s poverty crisis, or a gun violence crisis or a climate crisis, or a health crisis, and make us listen to the WHO. That is not constitutional.”

“Are we for standing up for Americans, or are we for ceding authority to international bodies to govern us and to shove their progressive, radical, Marxist ideas on the American people?” asked Roy.

Should the agreement be ratified, Littlejohn warned, the Conference of the Parties would have the power to “mandate vaccines, mandate masks, mandate lockdowns, and mandate quarantines,” as well as “mandate that the governments of the world surveil and censor their citizens, no doubt through digital IDs, which can be used as the basis of a Chinese-style, social credit.”

Long known for a similar left-wing bias to that of the United Nations, the WHO has faced additional criticism since COVID’s outbreak in 2020 for, among other offenses, opposing bans on travel from China that could have limited the reach of COVID, for legitimizing the false claims coming out of the Chinese government that initially downplayed the gravity of the situation and covered up the Communist regime’s mishandling of it, and for favoring the lockdown and mandate policies that exacerbated harm while curtailing basic freedoms and failing to improve health outcomes.

“In December [2019], the WHO refused to act on or publicize Taiwan’s warning that the new respiratory infection emerging in China could pass from human to human,” U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote in April 2020. “In mid January [2020], despite accumulating evidence of patients contracting what we now know as COVID-19 from other people, the organization repeated the [Chinese Communist Party’s] lie that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. In January, the WHO, at Beijing’s behest, also blocked Taiwan from participating in critical meetings to coordinate responses to the coronavirus and even reportedly provided wrong information about the virus’s spread in Taiwan.”

Near the end of its tenure, the Trump administration began the process of formally withdrawing the United States from the WHO. But upon taking office, President Joe Biden notified the body that it would contribute $200 million by the end of February 2021, restoring the aid Trump had canceled and asserting a “renewed commitment” to the WHO.

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Censorship Industrial Complex

Scotland’s crazy anti-hate law may be sign of things to come here

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Brian Giesbrecht

Scotland had 8,000 complaints in the first week. Is it likely that a similar avalanche of claims will result in Canada if C-63 becomes law?

Actually, there will probably be a lot more here.

For one thing, our population is many times the size of Scotland’s.

Some argue that Scotland’s new hate speech law is more draconian than Canada’s yet-to-be-enacted equivalent, Bill C-63. Others say this is not so — that portions of ’63’ are even greater threats to free speech than Scotland’s extreme new law.

Regardless of who wins in this radical experiment in mass censorship, one thing we can predict with certainty: Both laws will be a goldmine for the legal profession and a nightmare for anyone who has ever dared to write, say or broadcast anything controversial.

How? Well, in the first week that Scotland’s new hate legislation has been in force there has been an avalanche of new claims launched — 8,000, and counting. Every one of those claims will have to be defended by a person who believed that they were exercising their right of free speech.

Now, 8,000 of those people will be caught up in expensive, time consuming, and emotionally draining litigation. Their cases will mostly be heard by officials and judges who were appointed specifically because they shared the same views as the government that appointed them — the same government that felt the need to prosecute these 8,000 people.

That 8,000 surpassed the total number of hate crime allegations in Scotland for all of 2023. A projection is that there will be an estimated 416,000 cases for 2024 if this rate keeps up. The complaints have completely overwhelmed Scotland’s police.

The Scottish Police Federation’s David Threadgold said this about how the new law was being used by angry citizens with an axe to grind: “…the law was being “weaponised” by the public in order to settle personal grudges against fellow citizens or to wage political feuds, while suggesting that the government encouraging the public to report instances of ‘hate’ has clearly blown up in their face.”

We have already seen this Scottish law in action when J.K. Rowling, who is famous not only for her wonderful Harry Potter books, but more recently for stating what we knew as fact for the first few hundred thousand years or so of human history — namely that men are men, and women are women — famously reposted that claim and dared the Scottish police to charge her.

The police announced that she wouldn’t be charged — at least that particular police officer wouldn’t charge her at this particular time.

The other person who has been the subject of many of those 8,000 complaints is First Minister Humza Yousaf — the very man responsible for this monstrosity of a law. Yousaf is himself quite famous for complaining that Scotland has too many white people. Who knew?

That odd observation resulted in a world famous spat with none other than Elon Musk. The online slugfest basically took the form of each man accusing the other of being a racist. At times it looked more like a schoolyard fight.

That a national leader seriously feels that the sledgehammer of the criminal law must be used to sort out such cat fights between citizens is rather alarming.

But, in this regard, Yousaf and Trudeau are birds of a feather. Both are convinced that only “acceptable views” — namely the views they agree with — will be allowed, while “unacceptable views,” namely, those they don’t like, must be disappeared by the machinery of the state.

It should be explained at this point that Scotland’s new law, unlike our C-63, requires police to determine whether or not the person under complaint has “stirred up hatred.”

Bill C-63 has those “hate” complaints heard by the Human Rights Tribunal.

In both cases however, one person’s opinion will judge another person’s opinion. However, one person will be paid to perform this function, while the other person might become a criminal if their opinion fails a completely subjective test.

Scotland had 8,000 complaints in the first week. Is it likely that a similar avalanche of claims will result in Canada if C-63 becomes law?

Actually, there will probably be a lot more here.

For one thing, our population is many times the size of Scotland’s.

For another, C-63 allows people to make complaints anonymously if the tribunal says so. It also promises up to $50,000 per complaint. That’s a powerful motivator. That $50,000 doesn’t come from some magic bank, by the way. If you are the person complained about, it comes from you. And you might be required to fork over an additional $20,000 to the tribunal for their troubles.

I’m not sure if they will expect a tip.. 

Much has been written about C-63. Many knowledgeable Canadians have discussed in detail the hundreds of objections they can see with this Bill. Senior Canadian voices, such former Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, and world famous author Margaret Atwood, have warned Canadians about this seriously flawed legislation.

But what no one has done — except for Trudeau apparatchiks — is to give any good reasons why Canada needs this legislation.

If Scotland’s projected number of complaints for 2024 is 416,000 and they have a population of less than six million, the projection for Canada would be into the millions of complaints. Even setting aside the obvious impossibility of paying for thousands of new tribunal adjudicators, staff, and the thousands of new lawyers required to help the million-plus people who are thrust into this hate complaint boondoggle, why would any serious government even wish such a thing on their citizens?

Do we not have a rather large bag of serious problems we must contend with?

We have a generation of young people, for example, who might never in their lives be able to afford a home of their own. How do we expect these young people to raise a future generation of Canadians without a home in which to raise them? Isn’t that a bigger problem than someone’s hurt feelings?

Another example… Trudeau has just noticed that we don’t seem to have an army anymore. Isn’t that a bigger problem than whether or not someone feels that they have been misgendered, or called nasty names?

There is a list, as long as the longest arm, of very real problems that need urgent attention. Why are we wasting time and money on the brainchild (yes, I use that term loosely) of a desperate prime minister and his few remaining fellow ideologues?

This legislation is totally unnecessary, and an appallingly disrespectful way to treat Canadians. We already have hate laws. We already have laws to protect children. C-63 is as useless as the tired apparatchiks pushing it.

We should definitely pay attention to what is happening in Scotland. It will be our fate if this perfectly awful Bill C-63 is not defeated.

Brian Giesbrecht, retired judge, is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

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