Biden Admin First Amendment ‘Coercion’ Restricted by Court as Democratic New Mexico Governor Attacks Second Amendment

An appeals court ruled the Biden administration “likely violated the First Amendment” by coercing social media companies. In New Mexico, another Democratic official – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham – claimed on Friday her public health powers allowed her to suspend the Second Amendment.


An appeals court ruled the Biden administration “likely violated the First Amendment” by coercing social media companies. In New Mexico, another Democratic official – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham – claimed on Friday her public health powers allowed her to suspend the Second Amendment.

  • The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the White House, the surgeon general, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FBI “likely coerced or significantly encouraged social-media platforms to moderate content” relating to Covid-19 and gave the administration ten days to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • The three-judge panel of Republican appointees also limited the scope of the initial injunction. In their opinion, the Fifth Circuit called District Judge Terry A. Doughty’s injunction “overbroad” and criticized it for limiting the administration from “engaging in legal conduct.”
  • The appeals court judges argued “Nine of the preliminary injunction’s ten prohibitions risk doing just that. Moreover, many of the provisions are duplicative of each other and thus unnecessary.” The panel of judges removed the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency and the State Department from the scope of the injunction.
  • While federal Democrats attack the First Amendment, New Mexico Democrats are going after the Second. Gov. Lujan Grisham’s emergency order justifies her decree suspending the right to carry firearms in Albuquerque and the surrounding county on public health grounds.
  • The governor used the recent shooting deaths of children to justify what she herself described as a violation of her oath of office. “No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute,” Lujan Grisham said on Friday. “There are restrictions on free speech, there are restrictions on my freedoms.”
  • Lujan Grisham’s attempt to nullify part of the Bill of Rights quickly drew lawsuits from a gun-rights group and an Albuquerque resident. The Albuquerque’s mayor and police chief and the sheriff and district attorney of Bernalillo County, all Democrats, have said they would not enforce her order.
  • New Mexicans aren’t taking the governor’s order lying down. As The Reload reported, “More than a hundred people openly carried firearms in an Albuquerque park on Sunday as an act of protest.” No citations were issued.
  • “As an officer of the court, I cannot and will not enforce something that is clearly unconstitutional,” Bernalillo County District Attorney Sam Bregman, who was appointed by Lujan Grisham herself, said in a statement over the weekend.
  • Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen said enforcing Lujan Grisham’s decree would put his deputies at risk. “This order will not do anything to curb gun violence other than punish law-abiding citizens who have a constitutional right to self defense,” Allen said at a press conference.
  • Lujan Grisham argued her decision wasn’t unconstitutional because she found an “exception”: “And that is, if there’s an emergency and I’ve declared an emergency for a temporary amount of time I can invoke additional powers.” She said state police would enforce the order if local authorities refused.
  • Reporter Stephen Gutowski observed that Grisham’s emergency declaration comes as murders in Albuquerque have declined since 2022, with 51 murders so far this year compared to 65 by this point last year.
  • “A child is murdered, the perpetrator is still on the loose, and what does the governor do? She … targets law-abiding citizens with an unconstitutional gun order,” said Sen. Greg Baca, the top Republican in the New Mexico Senate.

reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • Axios covered the backlash Lujan Grisham has received from her fellow Democrats. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) posted on X, “”I support gun safety laws, however, this order from the Governor of New Mexico violates the US Constitution.” Gun control activist David Hogg posted, “I support gun safety but there is no such thing as a state public health emergency exception to the U.S. Constitution.”
  • According to the New York Times, the court of appeals found the Biden administration merely “overstepped” the First Amendment, even while acknowledging several paragraphs later that the court found the FBI had “used coercion in its interactions” with social media companies.
  • The Washington Post noted the “dubious constitutionality” of Grisham’s order comes just a year after a major Supreme Court decision reinforcing the importance of the Second Amendment. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, the court struck down New York’s restrictions on obtaining a concealed carry permit and instituted “roadblocks to gun control more broadly, effectively finding that the only restrictions that can stand must have historical precedents.”



  • The Commentary Magazine podcast discussed “the remarkable confluence of two events” – the “worst assault by our government on First Amendment rights in this nation’s history” and Lujan Grisham’s emergency power grab – and came to a conclusion: “They’re coming after the Constitution.”
  • As The Dispatch’s Nick Catoggio pointed out, if Democrats are “going to be the Party of Norms, you have to, you know, be the party of norms. I was thinking about that this weekend when news broke that New Mexico’s Democratic governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has become a dictator…she’s been so comically villainous about it that I find myself wondering if there’s some ulterior motive that I can’t sniff out.”
  • Given Lujan Grisham’s obvious disregard for the law, National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke asked, “Okay, then. So why not arrest her?” Cooke points out by the twisted logic of Lujan Grisham’s disregard for the law, she could be arrested “without a warrant and without cause.” Cooke continued, “She now has a choice. She can back off. Or she, too, can be subjected to the arbitrary framework she has contrived for everyone else. In this country, we put restrictions on our politicians.”

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© Dominic Moore, 2023