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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) reinstated an injunction against a Texas law intended to stop social media censorship.

The Tuesday decision will block HB 20, a Texas law that prohibits Big Tech companies from removing speech based on viewpoint. It also requires transparency from the companies with over 50 million users, such as a “acceptable use policy.”

The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on May 11 that the law could go into effect while legal challenges continued, but SCOTUS reversed that decision. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas dissented, along with liberal Justice Elena Kagan. Alito wrote a dissenting opinion.

“Social media platforms have transformed the way people communicate with each other and obtain news,” Alito wrote. “At issue is a ground-breaking Texas law that addresses the power of dominant social media corporations to shape public discussion of the important issues of the day.”

Alito said that the new law should go into effect while challenges continue and noted that it is not clear how “existing precedents” apply now to social media companies. The law only applies to companies that say they are “open to the public” and are neutral forums.

He pointed out in a footnote that Texas argued that Big Tech companies have argued two conflicting ideas simultaneously when it comes to content moderation and editorial control.

“Texas also suggests that applicants’ position in this litigation is in conflict or tension with the positions of its members in cases regarding the interpretation of §230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996,” Alito wrote. “That statute directs, among other things, that ‘[n]o provider . . . of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.'”

Texas argued in its defense that when platforms rely on Section 230 protections, they argue that they are not a “publisher” of content and are not “responsible” for what is posted. The state argued then that SCOTUS “should view their assertions of a First Amendment right to engage in ‘editorial discretion’ with some skepticism,” according to Alito.

The dissent echoed arguments raised by Justice Thomas in a different social media case in 2021. Justice Thomas wrote that Big Tech companies represent “common carriers” and that because of their size, it could be possible to regulate their ability to suppress speech.

“Internet platforms of course have their own First Amendment interests,” Thomas noted. However, there can be validity to speech regulations “if they would have been permissible at the time of the founding.”

He said there is a “long history” in the United States and England of “restricting the exclusion right of common carriers and places of public accommodation.”