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NetChoice v. Bonta

Key Takeaways:
  • Despite having different political goals, CA's AB 2733 still violates the First Amendment by giving the government unconstitutional control of online speech.
  • We have requested that the District Court of Northern California enjoin the law.
What's At Stake
  • Californians' First Amendment rights are under threat from the state government trying to tell websites what content legal speech they're allowed to host.
  • AB 2733 violates the Fourth Amendment by forcing sites to reveal private internal communications.
  • It ignores existing federal law on protecting kids online, thus violating the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
  • It takes away parental/guardian rights and puts those into the hands of the state.
Case Brief

Case Status: In Progress

Latest Update: 2/17/23

Ambika Kumar Adam S. Sieff Robert Corn-Revere David M. Gossett Meenakshi Krishnan

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

  • District Court
    12/14/22 NetChoice files complaint against AB 2733
  • District Court
    2/17/23 NetChoice files a request for preliminary injunction

The state of California is violating the First Amendment by telling sites how to manage constitutionally protected speech. It echoes similar violations in Texas and Florida’s anti-bias laws for failing to honor the First Amendment.

Additionally, AB 2733 violates the First Amendment because it deputizes online services “to act as roving Internet censors at the state’s behest”, compels speech, violates editorial discretion, and is overly vague and broad.

AB 2273 undermines children’s privacy by forcing sites, regardless of how secure they are, to track and store information identifying which users are children. Child predators and hackers will be drawn to less secure sites as goldmines for children’s sensitive data.

By ignoring the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, California conflicts with existing federal laws like COPPA that already work to protect kids online nationwide. 

Parents and guardians are best suited to decide how their families will have an online presence. AB 2273 takes away that freedom and puts it into the hands of the state. 

The act violates the Fourth Amendment by forcing sites to reveal private internal communications.

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)

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