Supreme Court blocks Texas social media law from taking effect

This article by Nina Totenberg and Bobby Allyn appeared in NPR on May 31, 2022.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a Texas social media law from taking effect that intended to punish online platforms for removing political speech.

The vote was 5-to-4, with the court’s three most conservative justices filing a written dissent that would have allowed the Texas law to start. In a surprise move, liberal Justice Elena Kagan joined in the dissent, but she did not explain her rationale.

The Texas law bars Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other popular social media sites from blocking content based on viewpoint. Gov. Greg Abbott maintained that the law was a justifiable response to “a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas.”

A federal district court temporarily halted state officials from enforcing the law, saying it likely violates the First Amendment. But a divided panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed enforcement to proceed.

Click here to read more of this article.