Supreme Court Rejects RFK Jr. From Joining Free Speech Case

 December 11, 2023

In a significant legal development, the Supreme Court has denied Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s request to join an ongoing free speech lawsuit.

The Court's decision effectively separates Kennedy's allegations of government collusion with Big Tech from a related case, Murthy v. Missouri, set for Supreme Court review.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent presidential candidate, filed a lawsuit in a Louisiana state court. He accused the federal government of colluding with major technology companies to censor political discourse. His case aimed to challenge the boundaries of free speech and government involvement in public dialogue.

Alito's Dissent Highlights First Amendment Concerns

Justice Samuel Alito, dissenting from the Supreme Court's decision, raised concerns about the potential infringement of Kennedy's First Amendment rights. Alito highlighted the urgency and significance of such issues, especially in the context of a presidential election.

Kennedy, running for president in 2024, sought to combine his case with Murthy v. Missouri, a lawsuit with similar allegations against the Biden administration. This case, filed by Republican attorneys general, accuses the administration of collaborating with social media platforms to censor information on COVID-19 and the Hunter Biden laptop story.

However, the Supreme Court declined Kennedy's request, preventing his lawsuit from being argued alongside the Murthy case. This rejection raises questions about the avenues available for addressing alleged censorship and the role of the judiciary in such debates.

Complexities of Combining High-Profile Cases

Justice Alito's dissent brings to light the critical nature of free speech in democratic societies. He stresses the importance of protecting such rights, especially when they concern a candidate running for high office. His stance underscores the delicate balance between government authority and individual freedoms.

"Our democratic form of government is undermined if Government officials prevent a candidate for high office from communicating with voters, and such efforts are especially dangerous when the officials engaging in such conduct are answerable to a rival candidate."

The Murthy v. Missouri case, filed in 2021, initiated a legal battle over First Amendment rights in the digital age. It challenged the Biden administration's alleged collaboration with tech giants in controlling the narrative on key issues, such as the pandemic and political scandals.

The Legal Journey of Murthy v. Missouri

In response to the Murthy lawsuit, a district court initially issued an injunction, freezing communications between the government and technology companies. This action was significant in addressing concerns about government overreach in private-sector communications.

However, the Supreme Court stayed this injunction pending a full review. This stay illustrates the complex interplay between legal procedures and the substantive issues at the heart of these cases.

Despite Kennedy's arguments for combining the cases, his request faced opposition. The attorneys general involved in Murthy v. Missouri opposed Kennedy's late intervention. They argued that his participation would unduly delay the proceedings and noted a lack of significant new legal or factual developments to justify his inclusion.

Challenges in Legal Interventions

"The Kennedy Plaintiffs provide no adequate justification for attempting to intervene at a time that would delay proceedings well underway, such as changes in factual circumstances or legal developments," stated the attorneys general, pushing back against Kennedy's intervention.

This legal skirmish represents a broader debate on the role of the judiciary in safeguarding free speech and regulating government interactions with the private sector. The Supreme Court's decision in this context is more than a procedural ruling; it is a statement on the boundaries of judicial intervention in matters of public discourse.

Kennedy's attempt to link his lawsuit with the Murthy case was a strategic move, seeking to leverage the standing of the existing case. His argument that the plaintiffs' standing in Murthy v. Missouri was questionable and that his participation would solidify it reflects the intricacies of legal standing in constitutional law.

Broader Implications for Free Speech and Censorship

The Supreme Court's decision not to combine the cases indicates a cautious approach to altering the course of high-profile legal battles. This decision has implications for Kennedy's lawsuit and the broader legal landscape of free speech and government intervention in the digital age.

As the Murthy v. Missouri case awaits its hearing in early 2024, the legal community and the public continue to grapple with the evolving challenges of free speech, especially in the context of social media and government influence.

With the 2024 presidential election approaching, the impact of this legal development on Kennedy's campaign remains to be seen. The intersection of free speech, technology, and politics promises to be an area of continued legal and public interest.


  • The Supreme Court's refusal to combine Kennedy's lawsuit with Murthy v. Missouri emphasizes the distinct nature of each case.
  • Justice Alito's dissent points to potential threats to First Amendment rights, a cornerstone of American democracy.
  • The Murthy case, to be heard in 2024, continues to hold significance in the debate over free speech and government interaction with Big Tech.
  • Kennedy's legal and political journey underscores the challenges facing individuals seeking to challenge government actions in the digital sphere.

About Victor Winston

Victor is a freelance writer and researcher who focuses on national politics, geopolitics, and economics.

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