Major Ruling! “Corporations Do Not Have a Freewheeling First Amendment Right to Censor”

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In the Fifth Circuit today, Ken Paxton won a major First Amendment victory. The judge ruled that corporations do not have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say. The judge ruled against online political censorship.

A Texas law that bans social media companies from censoring users’ viewpoints is constitutionally allowed, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Friday, in a blow to Facebook, Twitter, and Google.

The ruling is a win for Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in their efforts to combat what they call censorship of conservative viewpoints by social media companies.

Judge Andrew S. Oldham opined that while “the platforms urge us to hold that the statute is facially unconstitutional and hence cannot be applied to anyone at any time under any circumstances,…today, we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say.”

The Texas law does not take effect despite the ruling until the appeals court issues written instructions to the district court deciding the case.

THE LAW WAS BLOCKED IN MAY

The law, H.B. 20, had previously been blocked from taking effect by a May 5-4 Supreme Court ruling, which had granted an emergency request by tech trade groups NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, which represent Facebook, Twitter, and Google. The trade groups have alleged the Texas law violates the First Amendment rights of the companies they represent.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is the hero of this ruling.

How did this get even this far? It’s also not over. Big Tech will appeal.


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