Federal Appeals Court Issues Order Allowing Texas’s Social Media Law To Take Effect While Still Under Appeal

BY Heather Greenfield
May 11, 2022

Washington — Today a split 2-1 panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit lifted an injunction of Texas HB 20, a law that seeks to compel social media companies and other digital services to disseminate dangerous speech. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pitman blocked the law from taking effect on Dec. 1, 2021, finding it unconstitutional. The panel issued its order without deciding the appeal on the merits, and without a written decision accompanying it.  

As a result of today’s order, Texas could soon seek to enforce its “Fairness Doctrine for the Internet” against leading digital services, which invites unwarranted and unnecessary governmental intrusion into Americans’ online experience.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined NetChoice in September of last year in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Texas’s social media law.

CCIA has advocated for free speech online for more than 25 years. This includes the First Amendment right for private businesses to determine what material is appropriate for their communities. 

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“This unexplained order contravenes established First Amendment law. No option is off the table. We will do what is necessary to ensure that the free market, not government fiat, decides what speech digital services do and do not disseminate.”

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