Strange Bedfellows: Unlikely Supreme Court Majority Blocks Texas Social Media Law

Strange Bedfellows: Unlikely Supreme Court Majority Blocks Texas Social Media Law

In a 5-4 decision, the United States ruled against a law that would have impeded social media companies from moderating content.

The majority included justices from the high court’s liberal and conservative blocs.

The unlikely coalition included Stephen Breyer, John Roberts, Sonia Sotomayor and Trump appointees Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh.

The minority was equally diverse, albeit smaller, as Mediate reports:

Justices Samuel AlitoNeil GorsuchElena Kagan, and Clarence Thomas dissented.

HB 20 vowed to protect “Texans from wrongful on social media platforms.” It was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) last September.

In a press release covering the signing ceremony, Abbott said at the time:

Social media websites have become our modern-day public square. They are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely — but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas. That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas.

Mediaite adds:

Opponents argued the law, if applied to large platforms, would have forced them to allow hate speech, illegal content, dangerous rhetoric, and trends that put children in danger — such as the Tide Pod challenge.

NBC News reported a challenge to HB 20 was filed by the trade groups NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

Justice Alito penned the dissenting opinion.

So, what do you think? Does the government have a role to play in regulating content moderation on social media platforms? Or is the public regulation of social media a bad idea? As always, tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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