On December 6, the Liberty Justice Center filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in the combined cases Moody v. NetChoice and NetChoice v. Paxton, arguing that the use of state power to suppress dissenting views online violates the First Amendment.
The NetChoice cases question whether state laws attempting to dictate private social media companies’ content moderation policies violate the First Amendment. These cases are before the Supreme Court after divided rulings from the Fifth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit upheld House Bill 20, a Texas law prohibiting large social media platforms from removing content based on its viewpoint—while the Eleventh Circuit Court ruled against Senate Bill 7072, a similar law in Florida.
In its amicus brief, the Liberty Justice Center argues that both Texas’s and Florida’s attempts to control the editorial decisions of private entities are in violation of the First Amendment. The brief urges the Supreme Court to reverse the Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling, affirm the Eleventh Circuit Court’s ruling, and hold that the government should not be permitted to legislate what content is or is not permitted on private social media platforms.
“The government should not control social media—either through its own censorship or by forcing platforms to publish content,” said Jacob Huebert, President of the Liberty Justice Center.
“The proper role of government in these circumstances is to leave these debates to the people—not to demand that disfavored citizens be deplatformed, nor to insist that the companies promote the work of the politically-favored,” said Reilly Stephens, Counsel at the Liberty Justice Center.
The Liberty Justice Center’s amicus brief is available here.