The State of Texas and media companies The Daily Wire and The Federalist have sued the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other government officials for engaging in a conspiracy to censor, deplatform, and demonetize American media outlets disfavored by the federal government.
Through its Global Engagement Center, the State Department actively intervened in the news-media market to limit the reach and business viability of domestic news organizations by funding censorship technology and private censorship enterprises. Congress authorized creation of the Global Engagement Center expressly to counter foreign propaganda and misinformation. Instead, the agency weaponized this authority to violate the First Amendment and suppress Americans’ constitutionally-protected speech. The complaint describes the State Department’s project as “one of the most egregious government operations to censor the American press in the history of the nation.”
“I am proud to lead the fight to save Americans’ precious constitutional rights from Joe Biden’s tyrannical federal government,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The State Department’s mission to obliterate the First Amendment is completely un-American. This agency will not get away with their illegal campaign to silence citizens and publications they disagree with.”
The New Civil Liberties Alliance (“NCLA”) is serving as co-counsel. Mark Chenoweth, NCLA president and general counsel, said: “The federal government cannot do indirectly what the First Amendment forbids it from doing directly. The chilling censorship machinations alleged in this complaint will frighten all liberty-loving Americans to the core.”
As the lawsuit explains, The Daily Wire, The Federalist, and other conservative news organizations were “branded ‘unreliable’ or ‘risky’ by the government-funded and government-promoted censorship enterprises… starving them of advertising revenue and reducing the circulation of their reporting and speech—all as a direct result of [the State Department’s] unlawful censorship scheme.”
To read the complaint, click here.