Louisiana attorney general files amicus brief in press freedom landmark suit against legacy media

Louisiana attorney general files amicus brief in press freedom landmark suit against legacy media


Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry on Tuesday filed an amicus brief in support of Children’s Health Defense’s (CHD) groundbreaking lawsuit against the legacy news media members of the Trusted News Initiative (TNI).

The lawsuit, filed May 31, alleges the TNI violated antitrust laws and the US Constitution by colluding with tech giants, some of which also are members of the TNI, to censor online news. An amicus brief is filed by non-parties to a lawsuit to provide information that has a bearing on the issues and to assist the court in reaching the correct decision.

According to Landry’s amicus brief: “The scope of TNI group’s conspiracy is wide-ranging. Restricting disfavoured information injures not merely the Plaintiffs, but also Louisiana residents and state officials.

“Louisiana officials need a free press to communicate with and understand the concerns of the state’s residents. Louisiana residents, in turn, need a free press to receive information and make up their own minds about what is true and what is false.

“The state has a strong interest in seeing the injuries the TNI group has inflicted on Louisiana officials and residents redressed.”

Jed Rubenfeld, lead attorney in CHD’s lawsuit, said Landry’s amicus brief “from the sovereign state of Louisiana is incredibly helpful to CHD’s historic case against TNI and in explicating Louisiana’s own compelling interests in its outcome.”

Landry in May 2022 helped bring a lawsuit against the Biden administration alleging key officials, including Dr Anthony Fauci, colluded with social media giants to suppress free speech on topics like Covid-19 and election security.

CHD and its chairman on leave, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, in March filed a similar lawsuit against Biden administration officials, in a Louisiana district court. A federal judge last month consolidated the two cases.

TNI describes itself as an industry “partnership” formed during the early days of the Covid-19 crisis. Its members include some of the world’s largest legacy news organisations including The Washington Post, The Associated Press, Reuters and the BBC. Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft also are members of the TNI.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include CHD, Jim Hoft (the Gateway Pundit), Dr Joseph Mercola and seven others.

According to the complaint, one of TNI’s stated goals is to “choke off” and “stamp out” online news reporting that TNI or any of its members deems “misinformation.”

Federal antitrust laws prohibit companies from colluding to deny critical facilities or market access to rivals. Such agreements, known as group boycotts, are per se illegal.

Chief US District Judge Terry A. Doughty for the Western District of Louisiana on Wednesday granted leave to file Landry’s amicus brief. The court’s decision on the defendants’ legal objections to the lawsuit is expected in the near future.

  • The Defender report / By The Defender Staff
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