The Texas Supreme Court has put a hold on a contentious social media law.

News Sand DC
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg / Getty Images

A contentious statute allowing Texas residents and the attorney general to sue social media corporations over their content-moderation decisions was just halted by the Supreme Court. HB 20 forbids digital platforms from eliminating or blocking content based on "the viewpoint represented in the user's expression," and was drafted in response to conservative allegations that tech is biased toward liberal ideologies.

HB 20 was passed in September, but it has been a bumpy road through the courts in the months afterward. After passing, it was quickly stopped by an injunction, but a trio of federal appeals court judges paused the temporary order earlier this month, in an unexpected victory for the law's supporters.

The Supreme Court's decision isn't final on HB 20, which is currently being challenged in court by two tech sector groups, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and NetChoice.

The tech trade groups urged the Supreme Court to intervene with an emergency stay after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unexpectedly reopened the statute earlier in May. The motion was evaluated by Justice Samuel Alito, who finally brought the case to the Supreme Court for an interim decision.

The Supreme Court's decision was overturned by Justices John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett. The ruling was not vacated because Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan, and Neil Gorsuch voted against it.

"While I appreciate the Court's apparent intention to postpone implementation of HB20 while the appeal is underway," Alito said in his dissent, "the preliminary injunction granted by the District Court was itself a major incursion on state sovereignty."

In a statement released after the Supreme Court decision, NetChoice praised the victory while admitting that the lawsuit is only "halfway there" as it moves to the district court.

NetChoice Counsel Chris Marchese remarked, "Texas' HB 20 is a constitutional trainwreck." "We're happy that the First Amendment, the open internet, and the users who rely on it are still safe from Texas' unconstitutional overreach."

#buttons=(Accept !) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Learn More
Accept !