Courthouse Steps Oral Argument: Murthy v. Missouri

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Murthy v. Missouri, originally filed as Missouri v. Biden, concerns whether federal government officials had violated the First Amendment by "coercing" or "significantly encouraging" social media companies to remove or demote particular content from their platforms.

Multiple individuals, advocacy groups, academics, and some states sued various officials and federal agencies for censoring conservative-leaning speech on the 2020 election, COVID policies, and election integrity. The plaintiffs argued the officials and federal agencies used "jawboning" tactics to force social media companies to suppress content in a manner that violated the plaintiffs' freedom of speech. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction in the case, which was then vacated in part by the Fifth Circuit, which nonetheless held that there had been some violations of the plaintiffs' First Amendment rights. The U.S. Supreme Court then granted an emergency stay order and oral argument is set for March 18, 2024.

Join us as we break down and analyze how oral argument went the same day.


  • Prof. Adam Candeub, Professor of Law & Director of the Intellectual Property, Information & Communications Law Program, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Dr. Matthew Seligman, Partner, Stris & Maher LLP & Fellow, Constitutional Law Center, Stanford Law School
  • (Moderator) Stewart A. Baker, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.