U.S. Supreme Court Agrees Grants Certiorari in the Two NetChoice Cases

In past Trending Law Blog posts on August 13, 2021, November 17, 2021, December 16, 2021, and September 8, 2022, we discussed the two NetChoice cases that arose in Florida (NetChoice, LLC v. Moody) and Texas (NetChoice, LLC v. Paxton), which involved states’ efforts to control and/or regulate the online speech of social media platforms.

In Moody, the United State Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that social media companies are private actors whose rights are protected by the First Amendment, allowing the platforms to moderate the content and exercise editorial judgment regarding posts on their sites. By contrast, in Paxton, the Fifth Circuit held that a private corporation’s First Amendment rights did not allow it “to muzzle speech” of those who post on a social media platform.

On September 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States granted the petitions for certiorari sought by the State of Florida in Moody and the NetChoice plaintiffs in Paxton. The Court limited the issues on appeal to (1) whether the laws’ content-moderation restrictions comply with the First Amendment and (2) whether the laws’ individualized-explanation requirements comply with the First Amendment.

A decision by the Supreme Court to resolve the conflicting decisions of the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits will hopefully be issued sometime in 2024.

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For any question relating to this article, please contact Robert B. Nussbaum, Esq. at Saiber LLC.