Yesterday, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on NetChoice & CCIA v. Paxton and NetChoice & CCIA v. Moody, emphasizing that both laws violate the First Amendment, NetChoice reported.
“The Solicitor General’s brief underscore that both Texas and Florida’s laws are unconstitutional and that the Court should review our cases,” said Chris Marchese, NetChoice Director of Litigation. “We urge the Court to strike down Texas and Florida’s laws and reaffirm that the Constitution prohibits the government from controlling online speech.”
The Verge reported that the Biden administration has requested the US Supreme Court review Florida and Texas laws restricting how social media companies like Facebook moderate the content users post on their platforms.
According to The Verge, in briefs filed on Monday, the solicitor general urged the court to take up a pair of lawsuits led by the tech trade group NetChoice. Both Florida and Texas passed laws making it illegal for large social platforms to suspend or punish users, citing long-standing allegations that major platforms are biased against conservatives.
The Verge also reported that a series of temporary injunctions have left the future of these laws in limbo, and Monday’s briefs add new pressure on the Supreme Court to resolve the suits.
Washington Examiner reported that Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar filed an amicus brief on Monday arguing that the Supreme Court should consider the conservative technology group NetChoice’s suit against Texas and Florida. The two states, the brief argues, run afoul of the First Amendment with restrictions on how social platforms regulate or moderate content.
According to Washington Examiner, while the laws in Texas and Florida differ in details, they have three things in common, according to the brief. They include “content-moderation provisions restricting platform’s choices about whether and how to present user-generated content to the public, individualized-explanation provisions requiring platforms to explain particular content-moderation decisions to affected users, and general-disclosure requiring platforms to disclose information about their content-moderation practices.”
Washington Examiner also reported that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signed Senate Bill 7072 in May of 2021. The bill would allow Florida residents to sue a tech company for up to $250,000 a day for removing a statewide political candidate from its platform for more than two weeks, or notably less for county or local positions.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) signed House Bill 20 in September 2021, only for the law to be temporarily blocked by the Supreme Court. The law would bar platforms with more than 50 million users from banning content based on user viewpoint.
In my opinion, there is no way to be certain whether or not the Supreme Court will take up NetChoice’s cases. The Court could choose to do that, or might decide not to take up this particular case. We will have to wait and see what happens.