SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in Moody v. NetChoice. The filing, which was led by the States of Missouri and Ohio, supports laws passed in Florida and Texas that help prevent censorship by social media platforms.
Both Texas and Florida passed laws in 2021 prohibiting corporate censorship on social media platforms. Texas’ H.B. 20 regulates certain social media platforms’ ability to remove user content and prohibits email providers from impeding email messages based on the message’s content. Florida’s S.B. 7072 prohibits social media platforms from “deplatforming a candidate for political office.” The Texas law was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; however, the Florida law was mostly blocked by the Eleventh Circuit. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, and oral argument will be presented on February 26.
In the brief, the coalition of Attorneys General argues that “States have authority to prohibit mass communication platforms from censoring speech” and that “the hyperconcentration of social media reinforces State authority to regulate.”
The States write, “The States have a vital interest in hearing the speech of their citizens, especially political speech. That is necessary for States to be democratically responsive. NetChoice’s position threatens these interests because it seeks to upend the longstanding authority of States to prohibit mass communication networks from engaging in censorship and viewpoint discrimination.”
Joining Utah, Missouri, and Ohio on this brief were the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and the Arizona Legislature.