Media Alert: Defending the First Amendment Online: The Liberty Justice Center to Present Oral Arguments in Hart v. Facebook Before Federal Court on February 21

February 21, 2024

WHAT: On February 21, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments on Hart v. Facebook, a case challenging federal censorship through the proxy of social media companies. The Liberty Justice Center represents Justin Hart, arguing that the right to free speech includes the right to question the government and present differing opinions online.

The hearing will take place at a special sitting in Sacramento at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

WHO: Buck Dougherty, Senior Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center

WHEN: 10:00am Pacific, Wednesday, February 21, 2024

WHERE: Lecture Hall

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law

3200 5th Avenue

Sacramento, CA 95817

HOW: This hearing will be livestreamed here.

A recording of the hearing is available on the U.S. District Court for the Ninth Circuit’s YouTube channel, located here. Oral arguments on Hart v. Facebook begin at the timestamp 54:28.

ISSUE BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, federal officials began working jointly with social media platforms to control the spread of “misinformation” related to the pandemic, providing private companies such as Facebook and Twitter with content moderation policies and training used to censor disfavored viewpoints. The Liberty Justice Center argues that this censorship constitutes state action and violates the First Amendment.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on this censorship in the closely-related case, Murthy v. Missouri (formerly Missouri v. Biden), on March 18. The Liberty Justice Center and Justin Hart’s amicus brief on Murthy v. Missouri is available here.

The Liberty Justice Center’s case filings in Hart v. Facebook  are available here.


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact us.