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Extra Discovery Allowed in States' Lawsuit Claiming Government "Colluded with and/or Coerced Social Media …

Added 09-07-22 08:21:01pm EST - “Judge Terry Doughty's opinion yesterday in Missouri v. Biden (W.D. La.) discusses various matters that came out in various ways,...” - Reason.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reason.com: “Extra Discovery Allowed in States' Lawsuit Claiming Government "Colluded with and/or Coerced Social Media ...”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Judge Terry Doughty's opinion yesterday in Missouri v. Biden (W.D. La.) discusses various matters that came out in various ways, but has this to say about perhaps the highest-profile question:

On May 5, 2022, Plaintiffs {the State of Missouri, the State of Louisiana, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Jim Hoft, Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, and Jill Hines} filed a Complaint against Government Defendants {Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Vivek H. Murthy, Xavier Becerra, Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security, Jen Easterly, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, and Nina Jankowicz, Karine Jean-Pierre, Carol Y. Crawford, Jennifer Shopkorn, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce, Robert Silvers, Samantha Vinograd and, Gina McCarthy}.

In the Complaint and Amended Complaint, Plaintiffs allege Government Defendants have colluded with and/or coerced social media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms by labeling the content "disinformation," misinformation," and "malinformation." Plaintiffs allege the suppression of disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and contents constitutes government action and violates Plaintiffs' freedom of speech in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution….

In accordance with the previous expedited discovery order, Plaintiffs served interrogatories and document requests upon White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre {[s]ubstituted for former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki} and upon Dr. Anthony Fauci in his capacity as Chief Medical Advisor to the President. Government Defendants have refused to provide any interrogatory responses or responsive documents, maintaining that these would be internal communications that would implicate serious separation of powers concerns, that Plaintiffs are required to exhaust other avenues for the discovery first, and that it would be unduly burdensome and disproportional to the needs of the case.

Plaintiffs maintain they have not served interrogatories, and document requests upon President Biden and do not seek internal communications—only external communications that Dr. Fauci and Jean-Pierre sent to the relevant social media platforms.

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