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NetChoice & CCIA v. Moody

Key Takeaways:
  • NetChoice and CCIA filed suit to enjoin and invalidate the law and defend the First Amendment and other constitutional rights of private businesses on May 27 2021.
  • We are awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court of the United States on whether to grant this case cert.
  • The Eleventh Circuit's rulings on this case conflict with similar rulings in NetChoice v. Paxton in the Fifth Circuit.
What's At Stake
  • The First Amendment is under attack in Florida, where the government wishes to force websites to host political content they would otherwise remove.
  • Sites need to be able to take down harmful user posts to protect their users.
Case Brief

Case Status: In Progress

Latest Update: 01/23/23

Brian M. Willen Steffen N. Johnson Christopher G. Oprison J. Trumon Phillips Lauren Gallo White Meng Jia Yang Peter Karanjia James J. Halpert Douglas L. Kilby Glenn Burhans, Jr. Bridget Smitha Christopher R. Clark Ilana H. Eisenstein Ben C. Fabens-Lassen Danielle T. Morrison Jonathan Green

DLA Piper LLP Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.

  • District Court
    6/27/21 NetChoice & CCIA File the Initial Complaint
  • District Court
    6/3/21 NetChoice & CCIA File Request for Preliminary Injunction
  • District Court
    6/30/21 SB 7072 is enjoined; AG may not enforce
  • Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
    5/23/22 The Eleventh Circuit upholds the District Court's Preliminary Injunction after an appeal from the State of Florida
  • Supreme Court of the United States
    10/24/22 NetChoice & CCIA petitions SCOTUS for review due to circuit split
  • Supreme Court of the United States
    1/23/22 SCOTUS asks the U.S. Solicitor General for its input on whether to grant review

SB 7072 brazenly infringes and facially violates the First Amendment rights of America’s leading businesses by compelling them to host even highly objectionable content that is not appropriate for all viewers, violates their terms of service, or conflicts with the companies’ policies and beliefs.

The law does not prevent censorship but makes the state the supervisor of online conduct and morals, overriding the community guidelines of online businesses in violation of the First Amendment.

SB 7072 further violates the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause by arbitrarily favoring popular and larger businesses like Disney and Universal Studios from its scope simply because they own well-attended “theme parks.” Simultaneously, the law irrationally targets also popular social media companies for speech restrictions and disfavored governmental treatment.

NetChoice Experts on SB 7072

Chris Marchese

As Counsel, Chris analyzes technology-related legislative and regulatory issues at both the federal and state level. His portfolio includes monitoring and analyzing proposals to amend § 230 of the Communications Decency Act, antitrust enforcement, and potential barriers to free speech and free enterprise on the internet.

Before joining NetChoice in 2019, Chris worked as a law clerk at the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, where he analyzed legal issues relevant to the business community, including state-court decisions that threatened traditional liability rules. Chris earned his J.D. from Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University, and earned a B.A. in History and Political Science at Boston College, graduating cum laude from both institutions. Chris is a member of the D.C. bar.

Nicole Saad Bembridge

As Associate Counsel, Saad Bembridge focuses on NetChoice’s litigation and amicus efforts. She specializes in reviewing federal and state legislation that affect the First Amendment, freedom of speech, Section 230 and AI.

Before joining NetChoice, Saad Bembridge worked as a legal associate at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies, where she co-authored twelve appellate amicus briefs, a policy analysis on content moderation paradigms, and provided analysis on a broad range of constitutional and statutory issues of first impression. During law school, she worked at the United Nations and at Georgetown University’s Institute for Technology Law & Policy.

Carl Szabo

As Vice President and General Counsel, Carl analyzes tech-related legislative and regulatory initiatives relevant to online companies. He monitors and analyzes Federal and state legislation. Carl is also an adjunct professor of internet law at the George Mason Antonin Scalia Law School.

Carl obtained his J.D. and Communications Law Certificate from the Catholic University of America, magna cum laude, and Carl obtained his B.A. in Economics, Managerial Studies, and Policy Studies from Rice University. Carl is licensed to practice law in Washington, DC and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US)

Court Filings

NetChoice and CCIA’s motion.

Third-party support of the motion for preliminary injunction:

Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division, Trial Court Ruling provided on June 30th, 2021.

  • NetChoice and CCIA’s appellate brief to the 11th Circuit asking it to affirm the District Court’s ruling.
  • The State of Florida’s Reply Brief
  • The 11th Circuit’s decision upholding the District Court’s injunction.
  • Our cross-petition for certiorari, asking the Court to review in full the Eleventh Circuit’s opinion