Missouri Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt and North Carolina GOP Rep. Dan Bishop have introduced a bill that would permit citizens to sue specific federal employees for unlawfully censoring them online.
The Censorship Accountability Act, Schmitt stated “is designed to deter censorship in the first place, but if officials violate the First Amendment again, the Act gives the American people recourse.”
The pair’s legislation follows the release of subpoenaed documents from Facebook showing that the Biden administration pressured the social media platform to censor or restrict disfavored content, such as anti-vaccine posts.
“The Biden Administration’s brazen collusion with social media companies to censor speech should frighten every American regardless of their political affiliation,” Schmitt said. “When I served as Missouri’s Attorney General, I filed the landmark Missouri v. Biden lawsuit, which exposed all of this censorship.”
“Now, I’m taking action to ensure that it never happens again. This legislation would allow citizens to hold individual bureaucrats accountable if they collude with social media companies to censor speech,” he continued. “I’ve already filed legislation that would hold the social media companies accountable if they censor speech, now I’m working to hold the federal government actors accountable.”
Bishop, for his part, contended that the “bill will … finally [allow] Americans to sue federal employees who violate their First Amendment rights. The Censorship Industrial Complex should no longer be allowed to operate with impunity, and those who seek to destroy the freedom of speech should have to answer for it in a court of law.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan last week posted many of the documents he obtained, which included communications between Meta officials and Biden admin personnel and advisors.
“In summer of 2021, the White House was mounting a nationwide push for Americans to get vaccinated for Covid-19,” Jordan said at the time. “Part of that push included a public and SECRET campaign to get Facebook to more aggressively police vaccine-related content, including TRUE information.”
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