Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedFebruary 15, 2024

CCIA Files Supreme Court Reply Briefs Showing How Florida, Texas Social Media Laws Violate the First Amendment

Washington – On February 26, the Supreme Court will hear cases challenging the constitutionality of Florida and Texas social media laws, which seek more government control over what content is displayed online. Today the Computer & Communications Industry Association and its co-plaintiff NetChoice filed reply briefs in their challenges to the Florida and Texas laws, explaining why they are inconsistent with the First Amendment.

Florida S.B. 7072 and Texas H.B. 20 have been largely blocked from taking effect while these challenges have been pending. CCIA and NetChoice argue that both statutes likely violate the First Amendment by forcing private entities — websites — to publish all third-party speech or face onerous regulatory obligations. Other states are closely watching this case — various state legislatures introduced over 200 content moderation bills last legislative session.

CCIA has advocated for free speech online for more than 25 years. This includes the First Amendment right for private businesses to determine what material to display and offer to their communities.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President Matt Schruers:

“Fifty years ago, a Florida newspaper successfully challenged a similar unconstitutional law that would have forced it to publish political opinions on its editorial pages. Soon the Supreme Court will hear the latest First Amendment cases for the internet age.  We look forward to demonstrating that the First Amendment protects any form of human communication from government interference.

“Yet this case is about more than the First Amendment rights of businesses to decide what speech they disseminate.  We need to ensure tech services can deliver on their commitment to address harmful content in their communities, and these Florida and Texas laws would thwart that.”