Missouri Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt spoke with Scripps News about a court ruling this week that could have major First Amendment implications.
On Monday a district judge blocked several federal agencies and officials from the Biden administration from contacting social media companies to discuss matters of "protected speech."
Schmitt said that it's up to social media sites to determine whether to remove content, and that it should not be up to the Biden administration to flag content for removal.
"The government's job is not to tell you what you can say, what you can see, what you can hear. It's protected speech under the First Amendment," Schmitt said in an interview with Scripps News.
"There's nothing prohibiting a government official from saying 'We believe this is wrong, and here's why.' The difference is you don't get to censor the other person."
White House press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre laid out the Biden administration's opposition to the ruling.
"We are going to continue to promote responsible actions to protect public health, safety and security when confronted by challenges like a deadly pandemic and foreign attacks on our elections," she said. "Our view is social media platforms have a critical responsibility to take action."
The Justice Department on Wednesday issued a notice of appeal in the case and said it would try to put a stay on the court order.
Sen. Schmitt says he believes the case is strong enough to make it all the way to the Supreme Court.
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