Fifth Circuit Upholds Texas Social Media Law

By Quinta Jurecic
Friday, September 16, 2022, 5:48 PM

On Sept. 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit handed down a long-awaited ruling in NetChoice v. Paxton, upholding the constitutionality of a Texas law that greatly restricts the ability of large social media platforms to moderate content and imposes certain transparency requirements. NetChoice, a trade association, challenged the legislation on First Amendment grounds. 

The Fifth Circuit had previously stayed a preliminary injunction against the law issued by a district court, only for the Supreme Court to vacate the stay. In its ruling today finding the legislation constitutional, the appeals court found a key provision limiting content moderation practices to be acceptable under the First Amendment because it "does not chill speech; instead, it chills censorship."

The court's ruling is available below.