NetChoice, LLC v. Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas, 21A720 (Supreme Court 2022)
I previously wrote about the Texas Social Media Censorship Law known as HB20. A portion of the case is pending before the Supreme Court on an emergency motion to vacate the 5th Circuit’s recent decision allowing the law to come into force even as it is being challenged. After NetChoice filed its petition, Justice Alito requested responsive briefing from the state of Texas.
Those briefs have now been filed and provided below with a small excerpt or comment for each amicus brief.
= = =
- Appendix containing lower court opinions.
- Party Briefs:
- NetChoice: Petition to the Supreme Court to Vacate the 5th Circuit’s Stay of the District Court’s Preliminary Injunction against the State.
- State of Texas: Brief in Opposition.
- NetChoice: Reply Brief.
- Amicus Briefs Supporting NetChoice.
- Rep Chris Cox: Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. Cox is an author of Section 230 and provides its explanation of its importance and relevance to the case.
- Prof. Eric Goldman: Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. Goldman adds that the “editorial transparency requirements [of HB20] violate the First Amendment.”
- EFF, Wikimedia, et al.: Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. “Allowing HB20 to go into effect will cause social media platforms to alter their content moderation practices in ways that will harm the public interest.”
- Cato Institute, Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. “The public interest is harmed by allowing the law to go into effect because most users do not want to see animal abuse, terrorist recruitment material, or racial slurs when they go on Facebook, nor do Facebook and other social media platforms want to host such material.”
- ACLU, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, et al.: Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. The brief argues that editorial autonomy is critically important. Although HB20 applies to social media and not newspapers the brief suggests it will have a chilling effect.
- FLOOR64: Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. The owner of Techdirt.com. HB20 “takes aim at the entire Internet ecosystem and its ability to facilitate any online expression at all.”
- TechFreedom: Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. “The Fifth Circuit panel order is poised to unleash a torrent of awful content.”
- Chamber of Progress, Anti-Defamation League, IP Justice, LGBT Tech, et al.: Amicus Brief Supporting NetChoice. The law would force publication of wasteful speech and would “render content moderation functionally impossible.”
- Amicus Briefs in Support of Texas.
- State of Florida, Amicus Brief in Support of Texas. Social media platforms “have supplanted the telephone for interpersonal communication, traditional television for news consumption, and the 24-hour cable news cycle in the potential to swing an election.” They should be regulated as such.
- Professor Philip Hamburger, et al. Amicus Brief in Support of Texas. Hamburger explains that he has studied and written “on how governments, in the seventeenth century and again today, tend to privatize their censorship, leaving their dirty work to less accountable, private actors.” He argues that common carrier style regulation is an appropriate mechanism to promote speech.