Paxton wins major victory for Free Speech against Big Tech

Paxton wins major victory for Free Speech against Big Tech

Image: Front page of the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in NetChoice, L.L.C., a 501(c)(6) District of Columbia organization doing business as NetChoice; Computer Communications Industry Association, a 501(c)(6) non-stock Virginia Corporation doing business as CCIA versus Ken Paxton, in his official capacity as Attorney General of Texas, issued on Friday, September 16, 2022.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

New Orleans, September 20 – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has secured a major victory in the New Orleans-based United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of Texans and free speech advocates across the country in the case of NetChoice, L.L.C., a 501(c)(6) District of Columbia organization doing business as NetChoice; Computer Communications Industry Association, a 501(c)(6) non-stock Virginia Corporation doing business as CCIA versus Ken Paxton, in his official capacity as Attorney General of Texas. The Fifth Circuit reversed the United States District Court of the Western District of Texas’ ruling that blocked implementation of House Bill 20, a Texas law that prevents social media networks from censoring users based upon the viewpoint of their online postings.

House Bill 20 (HB 20) also creates multiple requirements for the platforms to disclose to the public how they operate and requires that users be provided with an internal process to complain about censorship decisions.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals defended the Texas law on constitutional grounds, noting that the First Amendment doesn’t allow platforms the “editorial discretion” to arbitrarily censor different viewpoints. The Court upheld the state’s authority to prevent discrimination on social platforms and further ruled that anti-censorship laws, like HB 20, are consistent with the First Amendment because they regulate the company’s conduct, not their speech.

The Court stated in its opinion, “The implications of the [Big Tech] platforms’ argument are staggering. On the platforms’ view, email providers, mobile phone companies, and banks could cancel the accounts of anyone who sends an email, makes a phone call, or spends money in support of a disfavored political party, candidate, or business. . . . Today we reject the idea that corporations have a freewheeling First Amendment right to censor what people say.”

Attorney General Paxton said, “Big Tech’s reign of endless censorship and their suppression of conservative viewpoints is coming to an end…These massive corporate entities cannot continue to go unchecked as they silence the voices of millions of Americans. HB 20 was designed to protect every Texan wanting to fully express his or her First Amendment rights, and the court made the right decision in upholding the law.”

A particularly frightening aspect of the actions of the Big Tech companies is their quiet, behind-the-scenes, cooperation with the Biden administration to suppress Free Political Speech, which goes against the narrative of the White House.

 

 

 

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