The White House Covid Censorship Machine (Guest: Jenin Younes)

Published January 20, 2023
Social media companies have defended their close relationship with the government to control the COVID narrative by saying it was voluntary and protected under the First Amendment.  This raises a number of Constitutional red flags, says Jenin Younes, a litigator with the New Civil Liberties Alliance. Younes is representing the private plaintiffs in a First Amendment case filed by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana against the Biden administration.  Yeones discusses why this is unconstitutional, why it needs to end and how can be done.
In this case, Younes is representing Jay Bhattacharya, Aaron Kheriaty, Martin Kuldorff, and Jill Hines; four leading experts in public health who were deplatformed and/or censored by social media companies.  During discovery, emails surfaced between Facebook and the White House’s director of digital media, Rob Flaherty, that show this was more than a friendly relationship. The tone was more between a demanding boss and an underling. Communications were so flagrant that Younes and Kheriaty wrote about them in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.
Younes also discusses whether a public health emergency declaration gives the federal government more leeway in cozying up to private companies, and how digital communication is different from what happens normally under an expansive administrative state. Finally, does the explosion of public interest lawsuits against the federal government indicate a new age in governance?