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Published on February 26, 2024
Supreme Court Showdown AG Paxton Defends Texas Anti-Censorship Law Against Big Tech TitansSource: Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas

Attorney General Ken Paxton is putting on the gloves for a Supreme Court showdown over Texas's take on regulating social media giants. Paxton will be defending HB 20, a law that bars heavyweights like Facebook and Google from scrubbing users' posts based on viewpoint, at the highest court in the land today. The spotlight is on the Texas State as the legal scrum determines how far states can go in policing online speech.

The battle lines were drawn when two trade groups, representing big names in tech, took Texas to court over a 2021 law that put the kibosh on the biggest social media platforms from censoring constitutionally protected speech. The Fifth Circuit Court sided with Texas, but the trade associations weren't having it, taking their grievance to the Supreme Court. They're hanging their hat on the claim that these tech bigwigs have a First Amendment right to filter their users' content, according to Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas.

In the face of the digital age's evolving challenges, Paxton's stance is unwavering. "I look forward to defending our law which was adopted in response to a troubling trend of powerful companies unjustly silencing Americans they do not agree with," Paxton said, insisting that like the mailman and your friendly telephone operator, social media should be carrying messages without prejudice.

Aaron Nielson, Texas's Solicitor General, is stepping up as the state's batter at the Supreme Court pitch, with the case dubbed NetChoice, LLC v. Paxton on the docket. The face-off hinges on interpreting whether the giants of the web can silence speech and what states have in the regulation. As the digital town square becomes today's soapbox, the ramifications of this case could resonate far beyond Texas borders, setting a national precedent for the interplay between state authority and corporate power in moderating online discourse, as reported by Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas.

Austin-Science, Tech & Medicine