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WIN! Court Upholds Texas Ban on Big Tech's Censorship of Free Speech

Athena Thorne : Sep 20, 2022  PJ Media

"I just secured a MASSIVE VICTORY for the Constitution & Free Speech in fed court: #BigTech CANNOT censor the political voices of ANY Texan! The 5th Circuit "reject[s] the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say." -Texas AG Ken Paxton

[PJMedia.com] A federal appeals court upheld a Texas law that bans Big Tech from censoring speech based on political viewpoint on Friday. (Screengrab image)

On Sept. 9, 2021, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 20 into law. In a statement, Abbott summarized the new law:

House Bill 20 prevents social media companies with more than 50 million monthly users banning users simply based on their political viewpoints. The law also requires several consumer protection disclosures and processes related to content management on the social media sites to which the bill applies. These sites must disclose their content management and moderation policies and implement a complaint and appeals process for content they remove, providing a reason for the removal and a review of their decision. They also must review and remove illegal content within 48 hours. House Bill 20 also prohibits email service providers from impeding the transmission of email messages based on content.

The law was promptly challenged by NetChoice and the Computer & Communications Industry Association. They argued that tech companies have a First Amendment right to select and curate the content people post on their platforms. They were able to get the new law blocked, but Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton appealed that decision—and won.

Judge Andrew S. Oldham, writing for the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, said, "The platforms urge us to hold that the statute is facially unconstitutional and hence cannot be applied to anyone at any time and under any circumstances." But the court found that "In urging such sweeping relief, the platforms offer a rather odd inversion of the First Amendment. That Amendment, of course, protects every person's right to 'the freedom of speech.' But the platforms argue that buried somewhere in the person's enumerated right to free speech lies a corporation's unenumerated right to muzzle speech"... Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

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