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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

SCOTUS sends Texas, Florida social media laws back to lower courts

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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The Supreme Court sent two cases that could forever change how social media companies moderate content back to the lower courts on Monday, July 1. Florida and Texas passed what they described as anti-censorship laws in 2021 in response to what their state governments said was an anti-conservative bias from social media platforms.  

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The justices unanimously ruled that the 5th and 11th Circuit Courts failed to conduct a proper analysis of the First Amendment challenges in the case. 

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The justices wrote that lower courts need to first assess the laws’ scope and whether the provisions violate the First Amendment, or, in this case, intrude on protected editorial discretion. 

The justices said that’s the lower courts’ job, not theirs, because the Supreme Court is a “court of review, not of first view.”

The Florida law bans social media companies from deplatforming a political candidate or a journalistic enterprise. The Texas law states a social media platform or interactive computer service may not censor a user based on their viewpoint.

Now, both cases will separately go back to their respective lower courts for further consideration using the justice’s new instructions. All previous rulings about the two laws have been vacated, so the laws will remain under an injunction while the cases play out.

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[RAY BOGAN]

The Supreme Court on Monday sent two cases that could forever change how social media companies moderate content back to the lower courts. 

Florida and Texas passed what they described as anti-censorship laws in 2021 in response to what their state governments said was an anti-conservative bias from the social media platforms.  

The justices unanimously ruled that the Fifth and Eleventh circuit courts failed to conduct a proper analysis of the first amendment challenges in the case. 

The Justices wrote that lower courts need to first assess the laws’ scope, and whether the provisions violate the first amendment, or in this case – intrude on protected editorial discretion. 

The Justices said that’s the lower courts job, not theirs, because the Supreme court is a quote “court of review, not of first view.”

The Florida law bans social media companies from deplatforming a political candidate or a journalistic enterprise. The Texas law states a social media platform or interactive computer service may not censor a user based on their viewpoint.

Now, both cases will separately go back to their respective lower courts for further consideration using the justice’s new instructions. All previous rulings about the two laws have been vacated. So the laws will remain under an injunction while this plays out.