Donald Trump’s lasting legacy was supposed to be his appointments to the Supreme Court.
But Trump got some bad news.
And Brett Kavanaugh’s latest ruling will leave Donald Trump red with rage.
Conservatives are looking for a way to fight back against Big Tech’s ideological censorship.
The state of Texas passed a law allowing citizens or the attorney general to sue if they believed social media sites censored them for political reasons.
Big Tech filed a lawsuit, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the law to remain in effect while the legal challenges played out.
The tech companies appealed to the Supreme Court.
And in a five to four decision – with Justice Brett Kavanaugh providing the deciding vote – Big Tech temporarily prevailed over efforts to rein in liberal Silicon Valley social media companies suppressing conservative speech.
The Supreme Court temporarily stayed the law until it inevitably winds up back before the Supreme Court.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the dissent for three conservatives – Justices Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas joining in – who argued that the order blocking the law can be left in place.
Alito, Thomas and Gorsuch appeared to be coalescing around a line of argument that tech companies were common carriers – akin to the mail and phone companies – and thus could not censor speech.
“It is not at all obvious how our existing precedents, which predate the age of the internet, should apply to large social media companies, but Texas argues that its law is permissible under our case law,” Justice Alito wrote.
Justice Alito argued that the state of Texas asked the court to undertake a routine action by leaving the stay in place.
“The State notes that we have upheld laws requiring that businesses disclose purely factual and uncontroversial information about the terms under which their services will be available, so long as those requirements are not unjustified or unduly burdensome,” Justice Alito added.
“Applicants sought pre-enforcement review of the statute in federal court, so it is not clear how state courts would interpret this statute if it were applied to applicants’ businesses; nor has it been resolved which platforms are covered by the law,” Justice Alito continued.
Justice Alito argued that states had the rights to enact laws and this order blocking Texas’s anti-censorship legislation infringed upon state sovereignty.
“While I can understand the Court’s apparent desire to delay enforcement of HB20 while the appeal is pending, the preliminary injunction entered by the District Court was itself a significant intrusion on state sovereignty, and Texas should not be required to seek preclearance from the federal courts before its laws go into effect,” Justice Alito declared.
This issue is not going away.
Ever since Twitter and Facebook helped rig the 2020 presidential election by censoring the New York Post’s factual reporting about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop conservatives searched for a way to curtail the unchecked powers of Big Tech.
And while the state of Texas may have lost this round, this fight will return to the court again in the near future.