A federal court of appeals has reinstated the Texas law banning social media companies from censoring users based on their political views.
Big Tech companies challenged the constitutionality of the law that was passed last year. A district court blocked the enforcement of the law pending the conclusion of the case.
The state appealed the decision in the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which reinstated the law on Wednesday, not based on whether or not it is constitutional but until the conclusion of the ongoing case in the district court.
We obtained a copy of the latest order for you here.
House Bill 20, passed last year, bans online platforms from banning users based on political views and requires companies with more than 50 million monthly users to publish transparency reports about content removal and the suspension of accounts.
“Sadly, we have a handful of people in America today who want to control the town square, who want to control social media and want to enforce silence,” state Senator Bryan Hughes said while supporting the bill last year. “If you have a viewpoint different from theirs, they want to shut you up. That’s not the American way, and that is not the Texas way.”
The law allows users to sue social media companies if they feel they have been censored unfairly. It also gives the attorney general the authority to pursue censorship cases.
Following the ruling, industry trade group NetChoice which brought the lawsuit agains the state said: “HB 20 is an assault on the First Amendment, and it’s constitutionally rotten from top to bottom. So of course we’re going to appeal today’s unprecedented, unexplained, and unfortunate order by a split 2-1 panel.”