A federal appeals court has halted planned court-ordered depositions of three top Biden administration officials in a lawsuit the states of Missouri and Louisiana brought over alleged pressure on social-media companies to remove posts containing purported misinformation about the coronavirus, election security and other issues.

A panel of the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a district court judge in Louisiana erred by approving the depositions for Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly and White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty, without examining in detail whether there were other means of getting the information plaintiffs are seeking to prove their claims.

The suit filed in May by the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana claims President Joe Biden and various officials used pressure on social-media firms to deprive Americans of their First Amendment rights.

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