The Biden administration is now requesting the 6th Circuit dissolve or at least modify the 5th Circuit stay order, arguing that OSHA “reasonably concluded” the rule was necessary, and that constitutional concerns raised by businesses and states challenging it are meritless.
The opponents argue that the mandate exceeds OSHA’s authority and Congress’ ability to delegate to federal agencies, as well as the First Amendment, the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and laws protecting religious freedom, among other things.
Biden is not required to answer reporter questions, according to political analyst Dan Schnur, a Republican-turned-independent now at the University of California. But he urged the White House to remember the news media is a proxy for voters.
“Biden hasn’t completely shut out the press, but he has been less available to them than any president in recent memory,” Schnur added. “The White House has the prerogative of deciding on the format, but the president should be much more available to questions from journalists than has been the case until now.”
Biden has a complicated relationship with the press. Some critics contend the White House does not grant reporters enough access to the president and that aides are “handling” him. Others believe his tendency to make verbal mistakes is problematic.
The Biden administration is playing an active role in flagging Facebook posts it considers to be “problematic” or “disinformation,” according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
During a Thursday press conference, Psaki said White House senior staff were engaging with “social media platforms” to combat the spread of “misinformation specifically on the pandemic.”
“In terms of actions we are taking or that we’re working to take, I should say, from the federal government, we’ve increased disinformation research and tracking within the surgeon general’s office. We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation,” she said.
The filing was revealed a day after a federal court in Washington, D.C., unsealed a motion showing the Trump administration’s DOJ had issued a grand jury subpoena to Twitter demanding that it turn over the identifying information regarding the user @NunesAlt.
The latest document unsealed Tuesday shows that the U.S. Attorney’s office in D.C. withdrew the subpoena in March, two months after President Biden took office.
In the filing, the DOJ asked a federal judge in March to deny Twitter’s motion to quash the subpoena, saying the case was moot since the demand had been withdrawn March 17.
On Monday it was revealed that Twitter had asked a federal judge to throw out the subpoena, arguing that it raised First Amendment concerns.
The Pentagon is planning on launching a program that would screen military personnel’s social media for “extremist material” — looking to retain a private firm to do the digging in order to circumvent First Amendment protections, according to a report.
Internal Defense Department documents reviewed by The Intercept reveal that Bishop Garrison, a senior advisor to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tasked with addressing “extremism” in the armed forces, is currently in the process of designing a social media screening program which will “continuously” monitor for “concerning behaviors.”
In the past, the Pentagon has shied away from surveilling members due to First Amendment protections, as well as other privacy concerns.