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Social Media Content SCOTUS Decision

July 01, 2024

Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States

Senior Fellow Gus Hurwitz said, “It is hard to see how this [decision] doesn’t dictate the ultimate resolution of the case.”

In Moody v. NetChoice, the Supreme Court vacated the lower court judgments and remanded the cases “because neither the Eleventh Circuit nor the Fifth Circuit conducted a proper analysis of the facial First Amendment challenges to the Florida and Texas laws regulating large internet platforms.”

Gus Hurwitz, Senior Fellow and Academic Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition, said:

Today’s NetChoice opinion is a bumpy win for the application of First Amendment principles to the Internet. At oral arguments, the Justices were clearly frustrated that this case came to them as a facial challenge, and that frustration frames the opinion, with all nine justices Gus Hurwitz, Senior Fellow & CTIC Academic Director Gus Hurwitz, Senior Fellow & CTIC Academic Directoragreeing to vacate both opinions below and to send them back to be more fully developed. But a six-Justice majority also offers a substantive discussion of the limited facts that were before the Court and the relevant law, offering a rebuke of the Fifth Circuit opinion below and stating that the underlying Texas law does regulate speech.

Five of the Justices sign on to the direct statement that “Texas does not like the way those platforms are selecting and moderating content, and wants them to create a different expressive product, communicating different values and priorities. But under the First Amendment, that is a preference Texas may not impose.” It is hard to see how this doesn’t dictate the ultimate resolution of the case and clearly foreshadows a rocky road ahead for these statutes if Texas and Florida continue to press forward with them.

Hurwitz’s work builds on his background in law, technology, and economics to consider the interface between law and technology and the role of regulation in high-tech industries. A current list of his publications is available on his website:

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