Tech firms ask US Supreme Court to block Texas social media law
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lobbying groups representing Facebook, Twitter, Google and other tech companies filed an emergency request with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to block a Texas law that would allow large social media platforms to operate on their own. Prevents users from being banned on the basis of political views.
The Texas law took effect Wednesday when the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals approved the state’s request to overturn a district judge’s injunction blocking the law.
The law prohibits social media companies with more than 50 million active users per month from banning members based on their political views and requires them to publicly disclose how they moderate content.
It was signed into law in September by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican.
Internet lobbying group NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association filed suit against the measure, and US District Judge Robert Pittman in Austin, Texas, issued a preliminary injunction in December.
Pittman found that the law would harm social media companies’ rights to freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
The technical groups, in their emergency request, asked the Supreme Court to “allow the District Court’s careful argument to remain in effect while a systematic appeals process goes on.”