By Roberto Hugo González
In a significant legal move, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched a challenge against what he describes as the Biden Administration’s efforts to censor and control American media outlets. This action comes in the form of a memorandum filed in support of a preliminary injunction aimed at halting the administration’s tactics, which Paxton and his co-plaintiffs argue are being used to silence and disparage media companies that present opposing viewpoints.
The lawsuit, initiated in December 2023 by Attorney General Paxton, alongside media companies The Daily Wire and The Federalist, targets the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other government officials. The plaintiffs accuse the federal government of conspiring to censor, deplatform, and demonetize American media outlets that do not align with its views. This alleged scheme not only misuses taxpayer dollars but also infringes upon Texas laws mandating that social media companies operate as common carriers, providing unbiased access to their platforms.
The core of the lawsuit’s argument is the assertion that the federal government has repurposed State Department resources and tools designed for information warfare—originally intended for national security and foreign relations purposes—to suppress domestic political opposition and the American press. This repurposing, according to the filing, represents a misuse of administrative power and a direct attack on the constitutional rights of American citizens and the press.
Attorney General Paxton expressed his determination to protect constitutional freedoms from what he calls the “tyrannical federal government” led by President Joe Biden. He condemned the State Department’s actions as un-American, vowing that the agency’s alleged campaign to undermine the First Amendment would not be tolerated.
Supporting Paxton’s efforts, the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) is serving as co-counsel in the case. NCLA President and General Counsel Mark Chenoweth criticized the federal government’s domestic use of speech-suppressing technologies, initially developed to counteract foreign propaganda. Chenoweth highlighted the grave implications of employing such measures against American citizens and media outlets within the country, labeling it both alarming and unconstitutional.
The motion put forward by Paxton and his co-plaintiffs seeks to prevent the Biden Administration from further developing, funding, or promoting technologies aimed at curtailing free speech and targeting the American press, at least while the case is under consideration by the court.
This legal battle marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing discourse around free speech, government overreach, and the rights of media companies to operate without fear of censorship or retribution from governmental entities.
To read the filing, click here.