‘Too Narrow’: Jonathan Turley Rips Supreme Court For Ducking ‘Fundamental Issue’ In Censorship Case

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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley criticized the Supreme Court on Wednesday after it rejected a challenge to the Biden administration’s efforts to censor online speech.

The high court ruled 6-3 that Missouri, Louisiana and five individual plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the censorship regime, with  Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissenting. Turley said that the court’s decision on standing was “too narrow” for cases that addressed “fundamental” issues. (RELATED: Jonathan Turley Rips Jack Smith For ‘Serious Problem Of Restraint’ On Trump Gag Order Request)

“It’s very frustrating for the free speech community, because standing is often used to block meritorious claims. This is one of the most fundamental issues that we are facing,” Turley told “America’s Newsroom co-host Dana Perino and guest go-host Aishah Hasnie. “I wrote about this issue, this case, in my recent book, because you have one of the largest censorship systems in our history, if not the largest. It’s been called Orwellian by lower court judges and what the court is saying is that we won’t hear you on this issue because you are not the right litigants.”


“Now I have to admit, I have always been something of a standing dove, I believe that the standing decisions are too narrow, because they do prevent the court from rendering a decision on such important constitutional questions, so this issue will have to wait for another day,” Turley continued.

A person holds a sign during the Free Speech Rally against the tech companies, January 20, 2021, in Culver City, California. (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

United States District Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued an injunction in July 2023 prohibiting Biden administration officials with multiple agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services, from contacting social media companies to push for “the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

Doughty listed 25 instances where social media companies either censored or were pressured to censor by the Biden administration, according a thread on X posted by Justin Hart, author of the Covid Reasoning newsletter on Substack.

Tucker Carlson, a co-founder of the Daily Caller and Daily Caller News Foundation, was among those targeted for censorship by the Biden administration, according to an April 14, 2021, email from White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty to an unidentified Facebook employee, demanding the company censor Carlson’s video about vaccines released. (RELATED: ‘As Scary As It Gets’: Jim Jordan Rips Ketanji Brown Jackson For Comments On Biden Admin Censorship Case)

“One of the things that many of us have been arguing for years is that the government is engaging in censorship by surrogate. I testified about this in Congress, that they have made a mockery of the limits of the First Amendment by doing indirectly what they are barred from doing directly, using academic and corporate allies to bar and cancel and blacklist critics on a variety of different subjects,” Turley said. “So it’s going to be very frustrating for the free speech community. We’ve been trying to see if there would be a final decision to strengthen free speech.”

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