Supreme Court Rules On Texas and Florida Social Media Laws

( – Social media platforms limited the reach of a New York Post article about Hunter Biden’s laptop before the 2020 election. Republicans were furious and accused the platforms of protecting Hunter and his father, President Joe Biden. Florida and Texas passed laws after the election to regulate how social media platforms moderate content, which led to lawsuits. The Supreme Court has now weighed in.

On July 1, the Supreme Court issued a combined ruling for the Florida case, Moody v. NetChoice, and the Texas case, NetChoice v. Paxton. In a 9-0 ruling, the justices sent the cases back to the US Court of Appeals for the 5th and 11th Circuits for further review. They determined that the lower courts had not focused on the broader constitutionality of the laws but instead focused too much on how they would impact social media companies.

Justice Elena Kagan wrote the majority opinion, rebuking the 5th Circuit for upholding the Texas law. The 11th Circuit had stopped Florida from enforcing its law. Kagan wrote that even though legislators and other government agencies have the right to regulate platforms, the courts must still protect the First Amendment rights of those entities.

The justice went on to explain that the lower courts had focused too heavily on the largest social media platforms. Kagan said that when the high court heard oral arguments, it was clear the laws could also apply to “other kinds of websites and apps,” so the lower courts must address that as well.

The justice provided an outline for the lower courts to consider when reevaluating the cases. She said the need for the outline was especially necessary for the 5th Circuit so that it didn’t issue another ruling that rested “on a serious misunderstanding of First Amendment precedent and principle.”

In 2022, the Supreme Court blocked the Texas law from taking effect. That will remain in place while the lower courts review the cases again.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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