The law makes bans on hate speech — or any content moderation — impossible
Technology industry trade organizations NetChoice and the Computer Communications Industry Association have appealed directly to the Supreme Court to seek a stay of Texas' social media law known as HB 20 in an "emergency or another's view" could make it impossible to enforce bans of Enforcing hate speech or even moderating platforms.” HB 20 was successfully blocked in court late last year and then unsealed by an appeals court on Wednesday without explanation.
"Texas HB 20 strips private online businesses of their speaking rights, prohibits them from making constitutionally protected editorial decisions, and requires them to post and promote objectionable content," NetChoice attorney Chris Marchese said in a press release. "The First Amendment prohibits Texas from forcing online platforms to host and promote foreign propaganda, pornography, pro-Nazi speech, and spam."
At the appeal hearing that preceded the court's decision to clear HB 20, the Fifth Circuit's three-judge panel appeared confused about many of the basic terminology used: one judge appeared to think Twitter was not website-web, and another seemed to think there was no difference between a phone company like Verizon and a social media company like Twitter or Facebook.
A court just blew up internet law for saying YouTube is not a website
NetChoice won a similar case in Florida last year, adding even more urgency to the constitutional issues in this case.
By going directly to the Supreme Court, NetChoice and CCIA chose to skip the "full" review, in which the Fifth Circuit would have assembled a larger panel to review the original panel's decision. NetChoice's emergency suspension request is being reviewed by Judge Samuel Alito, who could rule unilaterally or refer the matter to the full court. If the application is granted, the HB 20 would be blocked again until further court proceedings.
Right now, the Supreme Court has a solid Conservative majority, including Justice Clarence Thomas, whose views on moderating Twitter mirror HB 20 and whose Facebook posts by his wife promoted the Jan. 6 rally, which turned into a riot and to her too led Donald Trump. get banned from twitter.