Biden Gets Weekend Win: Judge Puts Hold On Anti-Censoring Social Media Order

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday afternoon placed a temporary hold on a Louisiana federal judge's July 4 order, which for 10 days had barred numerous federal agencies from pressuring social media companies to censor Americans' protected speech.

Clair McFarland

July 14, 20232 min read

Joe Biden 7 14 23
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The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday temporarily disabled a judge’s July 4 order and is allowing the federal government to pressure social media companies to suppress protected speech.  

Wyoming’s Republican U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman told Cowboy State Daily on Friday she’s sure the Fifth Circuit ultimately will side against the Biden administration.

Louisiana U.S. District Court Judge Terry Doughty in the case of Missouri vs. Biden on July 4 temporarily blocked the Biden Administration and numerous federal agencies from pressuring or colluding social media companies to censor protected speech on their platforms. Doughty wrote that federal agencies appear to have been doing that, especially throughout 2020 and 2021.

Biden and his agencies appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals the next day.

On Friday, the higher court granted Biden’s request for a stay blocking Doughty’s order.

“A temporary administrative stay is GRANTED,” reads the Friday order from Fifth Circuit Court Judges Carle E. Stewart, James E. Graves and Andrew S. Oldham, “until further orders of the court.”

But the federal government’s motion for a longer stay to last throughout the appeal will have to survive oral argument before a panel of judges.

The three judges expedited the case to hear oral argument at the next available calendar date.

‘Using Social Media Surrogates’

Hageman said the temporary stay is one step in the process, but far from the end.

“I am fully confident that the Fifth Circuit will ultimately conclude that the Biden administration has been using social media surrogates to circumvent the First Amendment rights of American citizens,” said Hageman. “The bottom line is that we must use all tools available to hold our government responsible to the Constitution.”

Hageman has been a tough critic of the federal executive branch, including the FBI. The agency played a major role in speech suppression leading up to the 2020 presidential election, according to Doughty’s July 4 filing.

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter