(PresidentialInsider.com)- This week, a US District Court Judge ruled that members of the Biden administration and select social media companies must turn over documents and submit to depositions within 30 days during a discovery phase of a lawsuit brought by the Attorneys General of Missouri and Louisiana.
In May, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration alleging the government colluded with and/or coerced social media companies to suppress “disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms.”
On Tuesday, Judge Terry Doughty from the US District Court for the Western District of Louisiana ordered the discovery phase to proceed and set a timetable, including specific deadlines for depositions.
Attorney General Schmitt, who is running in the Missouri Republican Senate Primary, described the judge’s ruling as “a huge development.”
In the four-count lawsuit, Schmitt and Landry allege Meta, Twitter, and YouTube labeled content as “disinformation” and “misinformation.” They contend this suppression constituted government action in violation of the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.
The lawsuit also accuses the federal government of exceeding its statutory authority. Additionally, they allege that the Departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act.
After Schmitt and Landry had filed a motion for expedited preliminary injunction-related discovery, the Biden administration quickly filed an opposition, arguing that Louisiana and Missouri don’t have the authority to bring the “parens patria” suit (to protect citizens unable to protect themselves) against the federal government.
The administration also claimed that the states are unable to meet an “injury of fact” standard, arguing that there wasn’t a link between alleged injuries to the states and the government’s supposed actions. The administration argued that Missouri and Louisiana are unable to demonstrate how a lawsuit will provide justice for an alleged “injury of fact.”
The judge disagreed, writing in his ruling that the states met the administration’s contentions.