Washington, D.C. (May 13, 2022)—Wednesday’s shocking 2-1 decision by the Fifth Circuit to vacate the district court’s injunction against Texas’s unconstitutional HB 20 means the law is now in effect. Because HB 20 violates the Constitution and risks causing irreparable harm to the internet and the businesses and users who rely on it, NetChoice and CCIA are taking the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On May 13, 2022, NetChoice and CCIA filed an application for an emergency stay with Justice Alito of the Supreme Court. Under Court procedures, Justice Alito may rule unilaterally or refer the matter to the full Court for consideration. To learn more about emergency stay requests, read NetChoice’s explainer here.
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“The divided panel’s shocking decision to greenlight an unconstitutional law—without explanation—demanded the extraordinary response of seeking emergency Supreme Court intervention,” said Chris Marchese, Counsel for NetChoice.
“Texas HB 20 strips private online businesses of their speech rights, forbids them from making constitutionally protected editorial decisions, and forces them to publish and promote objectionable content,” continued Marchese. “The First Amendment prohibits Texas from forcing online platforms to host and promote foreign propaganda, pornography, pro-Nazi speech, and spam.”
“Left standing, Texas HB 20 will turn the First Amendment on its head—to violate free speech, the government need only claim to be ‘protecting’ it.”
“We are hopeful the Supreme Court will quickly reverse the Fifth Circuit, and we remain confident that the law will ultimately be struck down as unconstitutional.”