The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked Texas from immediately enforcing a new state law that aims to prohibit large social-media platforms from suppressing users’ posts based on the content of their speech.
The court, in a brief written order, granted an emergency request by a pair of leading tech-industry trade groups to put the law on hold for now while they challenge it in court. The groups warned the law would unleash a torrent of hate speech and misinformation on their platforms.
The court’s order came on a 5-4 vote. As is customary for the court’s emergency orders, the majority didn’t explain its reasoning. Justice Samuel Alito filed a dissent joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch. Justice Elena Kagan also dissented, but she didn’t join the Alito opinion or file her own.
The Texas regulations prohibit social-media platforms with at least 50 million monthly active users from censoring users based on their viewpoints, applying to sites including Facebook FB, -0.76%, Instagram, Pinterest PINS, -3.91%, TikTok, Twitter TWTR, -1.42%, Vimeo and Alphabet’s GOOGL, +1.29% YouTube.
The law allows Texas residents, or anyone doing business in the state, to sue platforms for alleged violations and seek court orders against content removal. It also vests enforcement authority with the state attorney general. The law permits plaintiffs to seek injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees, but not damages.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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