The Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and NetChoice said on Friday they had filed an emergency stay of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to prevent Texas’ HB20 law from taking effect. Alito can make an ex parte decision on the request or refer it to the full Supreme Court.
The Texas law, blocked last year but reinstated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, mandates that any social media platform with 50 million or more monthly U.S. users “block, ban, remove, de- Castration, restriction, denial of equal access or visibility, or otherwise discriminatory expression” are all illegal. As such, it also creates enormous uncertainty for the operations of social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the state.
“Texas HB20 robs private online businesses of their freedom of speech, prohibits them from making constitutionally protected editorial decisions, and forces them to publish and promote objectionable content,” NetChoice attorney Chris Marchese said in a statement shared with CNN Business. said in a statement. “We hope the Supreme Court will quickly overturn (the appeals court’s decision), and we remain confident that this law will ultimately be overturned as unconstitutional.”
NetChoice and CCIA represent some of the biggest companies in the tech industry, with Google, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok all members.
This week’s ruling, and the expected pushback from the tech lobby, could set the stage for a Supreme Court showdown over First Amendment rights and potentially a dramatic reinterpretation of those rights that affects not only the tech industry but To all Americans — and decades of established precedent.