5th Circuit blocks Texas social media law as parties turn to SCOTUS

A federal appellate court temporarily halted Texas’ social media law from going into effect Wednesday while tech trade groups seek review from the Supreme Court — the latest twist in months of legal maneuvers over a statute that could upend the online industry’s business models.

Relief for tech: The ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gives a brief reprieve to tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube as they plan to seek a Supreme Court decision against H.B. 20, a Texas law that forbids large platforms from “censoring” viewpoints.

The decision marks a small win for tech trade groups NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association. Those groups had sued Texas’ attorney general, contending that the law would infringe on their member companies’ First Amendment protections by forcing them to carry content that violates their own rules.

Texas had agreed to the motion as long as the tech groups don’t seek more time to file their petition to the Supreme Court, a previous court filing said. The tech trade groups have until December to file that petition.

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