Supreme Court suspends controversial Texas social media law – TechCrunch

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Supreme Court suspends controversial Texas social media law – TechCrunch

Tech companies made their way to Texas on Tuesday.

The Supreme Court just blocked a controversial law that allows Texas residents and the attorney general to sue social media companies over their content moderation decisions. The law, HB20, prohibits technology platforms from removing or restricting content based on “the point of view represented in the user’s expression” and was designed with the party’s conservative claims in mind. liberal ideological take on technology.

HB20 passed in September, but had a difficult journey through the courts in the months that followed. It was quickly blocked by an injunction after it passed, but a trio of federal appeals court judges suspended the temporary injunction earlier this month in a surprise victory for the law’s supporters.

The Supreme Court ruling is not the final word on HB20, which still faces a lawsuit from two tech industry groups, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and NetChoice, challenging its constitutionality.

After the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ surprise decision unblocked the law earlier in May, tech trade groups asked the Supreme Court to intervene with an emergency stay. Judge Samuel Alito considered the request and ultimately took the case to the expanded Supreme Court for the interim ruling.

Judges John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett voted to overturn the Fifth Circuit decision. Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch voted against overturning the decision.

“While I can understand the Court’s apparent desire to delay HB20’s enforcement while the appeal is pending, the preliminary injunction issued by the district court was itself a significant intrusion into the sovereignty of the court. ‘state,” Alito wrote in his dissent.

In a statement following the Supreme Court’s decision, NetChoice celebrated the victory while acknowledging that it was only “halfway there” as the case moved to district court.

“Texas’ HB 20 is a constitutional wreck,” said NetChoice attorney Chris Marchese. “…We are relieved that the First Amendment, the open internet, and the users who depend on it remain protected from Texas’ unconstitutional excesses.”