“The Government faces irreparable harm with each day the injunction remains in effect,” contends a July 6 motion from the Biden administration in response to federal Judge Terry Doughty’s preliminary injunction in Missouri v. Biden. Government lawyers argued that it may “prevent the Government from engaging in a vast range of lawful and responsible conduct,” and therefore, a stay of the injunction “is in the public interest.”

It isn’t. In reality, the people have suffered harm from government conduct against their basic rights and freedoms.

Issued on July 4, Doughty’s preliminary injunction stated that “‘Protected free speech’ means speech that is protected by the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution in accordance with jurisprudence of the United States Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal and District Courts.”

Doughty named Department of Health and Human Services boss Xavier Becerra, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the FBI, DOJ, the State Department, and many others, including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

These agencies, including specific employees, “are hereby enjoined and restrained” from “meeting with social-media companies for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms.”

The agencies and employees, acting in their official capacity, are also enjoined from “specifically flagging content or posts on social media platforms and/or forwarding such to social-media companies urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner for removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

It is as though, before the internet, the government had demanded that Bell Telephone Co. disconnect Ralph Nader’s phone line, pressured the New York Timesto block publication of the Pentagon Papers, or leveraged Warner Bros. to pull All the President’s Men from theaters. In recent years, the government has been ramping up this brand of censorship.

The plaintiffs include epidemiologists Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), which opposed draconian COVID lockdowns. Instead of debating these medical scientists, Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIAID and National Institutes of Health boss Francis Collins teamed up for “a quick and devastating published takedown” of the declaration. Shortly after its publication in October 2020, the declaration was “censored on social media by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and others.”

According to Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, “When Fauci speaks, big tech censors and that’s what this lawsuit’s all about.” However, public health matters were not the government’s only target.

In 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified to the Senate that Facebook had collaborated with Robert Mueller’s investigation of Donald Trump, but the CEO provided no details. Zuckerberg did reveal that Facebook had removed a page from the site at the government’s demand. Zuckerberg did not indicate the content of the page, which government agency or official had demanded its removal, and when the removal had taken place.

As Missouri v. Biden reveals, Facebook, Twitter, Google/YouTube, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Wikimedia Foundation, and Reddit participate in a Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) “industry working group,” with representatives of the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Division of the Department of Justice. A key player in these working groups is Elvis Chan, supervisory FBI special agent in the bureau’s San Francisco office.

CISA also expanded its concept of “infrastructure” to include “the spread of false and misleading information.” The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did likewise with its Orwellian “Disinformation Governance Board,” headed by Nina Jankowicz.

Defendants in Missouri v. Biden include DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Jay Dempsey of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Division of Public Affairs, and Kate Galatas, CDC deputy communications director. Also named is Jennifer Shopkorn, communications adviser for the United States Census Bureau. Under Biden, government censorship is diverse, inclusive, and wrong.

“In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation,” Doughty argues, “the Federal Government, and particularly the defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment’s right to free speech.” As the June 6 motion confirms, the Biden administration shows little regard for free-speech rights.

The government hopes to preserve its “censorial power over our ‘cognitive infrastructure,’” argues Phillip Hamburger of Columbia Law School and the New Civil Liberties Alliance. Still, the case is “the beginning of the end” of censorship and “well worth celebrating.”

Next July 4, check back and see if there’s more to celebrate.