AUSTIN — The State of Texas, alongside media entities The Daily Wire and The Federalist, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other government officials. The lawsuit alleges a conspiracy aimed at censoring, deplatforming, and demonetizing American media outlets that were not favored by the federal government.
The complaint asserts that the State Department, through its Global Engagement Center, actively intervened in the news-media landscape. It purportedly sought to curtail the reach and financial viability of domestic news organizations by financing censorship technology and private censorship ventures. The Global Engagement Center, created by Congress to counter foreign propaganda and misinformation, is accused of weaponizing its authority to infringe upon the First Amendment and suppress constitutionally-protected speech.
According to the lawsuit, the State Department’s actions represent "one of the most egregious government operations to censor the American press in the history of the nation."
Attorney General Paxton stated, "I am proud to lead the fight to safeguard Americans’ precious constitutional rights from Joe Biden’s tyrannical federal government. 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 in this lawsuit. Mark Chenoweth, NCLA president and general counsel, commented, "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 detailed in the lawsuit, The Daily Wire, The Federalist, and other conservative news organizations were allegedly "branded ‘unreliable’ or ‘risky’ by government-funded and government-promoted censorship enterprises." These actions purportedly deprived them of advertising revenue and curtailed the circulation of their reporting and speech, all allegedly stemming from the State Department’s unlawful censorship scheme.
For access to the complaint, click here.