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Why the Supreme Court Came Within One Vote of Greenlighting Internet Censorship

Two trade associations representing the targeted companies appealed to the Supreme Court. They hired several of the most prominent conservative Supreme Court practitioners, led by Paul Clement, in an attempt to persuade the justices that H.B. 20 betrays conservative values.

This gambit worked, though only by a hair. In the end, a strange coalition of justices voted to freeze H.B. 20 once again: John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Sonia Sotomayor, and Stephen Breyer. Justice Sam Alito wrote a dissent, joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch; Justice Elena Kagan also dissented but did not join Alito’s opinion or write her own.