Lawsuits and legal battles are everywhere lately. Trump’s indictment for the mishandling of classified documents has been all over the news, but the Biden White House is also in the middle of a few lawsuits that may be of some interest to First Amendment enthusiasts.
Alex Berenson sues Twitter and Biden
Former New York Times journalist and popular novelist Alex Berenson sued Twitter in December 2021. Berenson had retweeted Pfizer’s own data about the Covid jabs, but since he did not present the data in a flattering manner, he was booted off the site after being previously told by Twitter that they supported him in his Covid dissidence, as he explains in this interview with Clay and Buck.
Berenson filed his lawsuit in Northern California, and he won. In July 2022, Alex Berenson was back on Twitter.
But some weird details emerged. During the discovery phase of his lawsuit against Twitter, where the parties are given access to each other’s documents, Team Berenson got the chance to look over internal Twitter communications. And Team Berenson found out that Twitter had been pressured by the White House and Pfizer board member Dr. Scott Gottlieb to kick him off. So, on April 12, 2023, Alex Berenson filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration.
Berenson v. Biden is moving really slowly, and who knows how it’ll end up. But the Twitter Files releases look only to strengthen his argument; Michael Shellenberger found more email chains about the internal Twitter arguments over whether or not to ban Berenson and turned the emails over to him to use in his lawsuit against the White House. The more time goes by, the more it looks like Berenson was correct in suspecting that outside forces were at work in removing him from Twitter.
Alex Berenson was a highly respected writer before Covid, though after 2020 many in the medical field adopted a “stay in your lane” attitude toward anyone not practicing medicine and who didn’t buy into the official narrative.
The Covid narrative crackdown spawned other suits, too.
The problem is, though, that there has never been a true “scientific consensus” around Covid, and early on prestigious doctors began speaking out about ways of dealing with a new virus that did not involve masks and lockdowns. In October 2020, three doctors authored the Great Barrington Declaration, urging common-sense precautions for people at risk and letting young and healthy people live their lives as normal. This declaration was based on decades of practice as doctors, as well as long-standing principles around the development of herd immunity.
Two of the authors were Dr. Martin Kulldorff and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya. Dr. Kulldorff is an epidemiologist, biostatistician, and professor who had been at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Jay Bhattacharya was an epidemiologist and professor at Stanford. These men were viciously defamed after the Great Barrington Declaration. Dr. Bhattacharya goes into detail about the dramatic effect this had on his health in his interview with Jordan Peterson here.
In 2022, Drs. Kulldorff and Bhattacharya were joined by Dr. Aaron Kheriaty in filing another lawsuit against the Biden White House. Dr. Kheriaty is a psychiatrist and medical bioethicist who lost his job at UC Irvine for refusing to get vaccinated against Covid. He had gotten Covid early on while serving his patients, was aware of the protection afforded by natural immunity, and as a medical ethicist, believed it was wrong for the university to force him to take a medical treatment that he knew wouldn’t be beneficial. So UC fired him.
Missouri v. Biden was filed on May 5, 2022, by the states of Missouri and Louisiana, as well as Kulldorff, Bhattacharya, and Kheriaty. This class action lawsuit alleges that the government both coerced and then worked with social media companies to censor Americans on social media. These highly credentialed doctors were banned from airing their professional opinions to the public, not only violating their First Amendment rights but violating the rights of the American people at large. The American public deserves to watch experts hash things out in the public square and then form their own opinions. But that can’t happen when only one side is allowed to speak.
Like Berenson v. Biden, the plaintiffs in Missouri v. Biden have been granted access to documents during the discovery period that have proved the censorship pushing Drs. Kulldorff, Bhattacharya, and Kheriaty out of the public square went beyond their suspicions. As Dr. Kheriaty wrote about recently, the “industry” in the “censorship industrial complex” needs to be taken literally because it truly is a whole new field.
The federal government, in Berenson v. Biden and Missouri v. Biden, keeps trying to write off instances of individuals being deplatformed as one-off occurrences when they are anything but. There is a highly developed network of people both within the government and the private sector trying to nudge our thoughts in one direction. Not toward any kind of enlightened truth, of course, but toward the narrative most convenient for those in power.
RFK Jr is also suing Biden
Dissident figures, however, are not going down without a fight. In RFK Jr. et al v. Biden et al, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. alleges that Joe Biden, along with other government officials, pressured the three major tech companies (Facebook, Google, and Twitter) to censor constitutionally protected free speech in violation of the Norwood principle. This class action lawsuit was filed on March 24, 2023.
The Norwood principle, from a 50-year-old case, is that “government may not induce, encourage, or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”
Well, that sounds an awful lot like what’s been uncovered in the Twitter Files.
The plaintiffs are not seeking a financial settlement in this lawsuit. This isn’t about money. RFK Jr. and his co-plaintiffs want a public declaration that federal officials have been violating the First Amendment. They also want a nationwide injunction against any future efforts by the federal government to censor speech.
A public declaration of this kind would provide a lot of clarity for the American public.
The silenced are fighting back
Not surprisingly, these lawsuits against Biden have gotten far less coverage than the criminal charges against Trump. However, they represent a concerted effort on the part of many individuals wronged by the censorship regime to push the U.S. back toward its former status as a beacon of freedom.
I would love to see these lawsuits succeed. This website is a small business. We could not afford a lawsuit against the group that downgraded us even though Daisy had been legally advised that she had a solid case. It’s encouraging to see people with bigger names and deeper pockets taking up the same cause.
Obviously the censorship regime has been detrimental for the OP. But it ultimately hurts the entire public. Without access to a variety of opinions, people can’t learn what will best meet their needs.
Censorship is “the hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”
In discussing his case against Biden, RFK Jr. quoted former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, who famously said, “Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime.”
That’s as true today as it was sixty years ago. The expert class has made it clear that they see the general public as completely incapable of making any informed decisions. They want to funnel us into a society where there is no narrative other than the official one. No dissent, no accounting for people with varying needs. Just one endless stream of state-approved information.
This is closer than people want to realize. It’s already being trialed in some parts of the world. We wrote about Ukraine’s Diaa app a few months ago. RFK Jr. and Matt Taibbi discussed the potential applications of an American Diaa in their recent podcast. If the public doesn’t insist on free forums for public discourse now, we may permanently lose them.
These lawsuits are anything but frivolous.
Many Americans (myself included) have long dismissed lawsuits as frivolous and obnoxious, but they have their place. They’re a way to fight back. These lawsuits against Biden are anything but frivolous. They’re well-documented and strongly rooted in our Constitutional traditions. The more publicity the lawsuits against Biden receive, hopefully, the more aware the public will become about how much our streams of information are being constantly manipulated. So please, be sure and share this article.
What are your thoughts on the lawsuits? Do you think they’ll succeed? Do you feel that the suits are legitimate? What other legal actions could be taken?
Let’s discuss it in the comments section.
About Marie Hawthorne
A lover of novels and cultivator of superb apple pie recipes, Marie spends her free time writing about the world around her.