Attorney General Ken Paxton pledged to continue fighting against Big Tech censorship in Texas. 

This immediately followed a July 1 decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. They sent a case regarding Texas’ prohibition of social media censorship based on viewpoints—House Bill 20, signed into law in 2021—back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

HB 20 bars social media companies from censoring users in the state, based on their expressed opinions. Following its adoption, technology group NetChoice sued the attorney general. 

The U.S. Supreme Court also sent a case regarding a similar Florida law back to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. 

“This year, I went before SCOTUS to defend our landmark Texas law that forbids social media companies from discriminating on the basis of viewpoint,” Paxton posted on X. “Big Tech censorship is one of the biggest threats to free public discourse and election integrity. Today, SCOTUS has sent this case back to the lower courts.”

He then assured Texans that he would not stop pushing back against silencing from Big Tech oligarchs. 

NetChoice V. Paxton was heard before SCOTUS in late February 2024. 

The Court unanimously ruled Monday to return the case to the Fifth Circuit. Justice Elena Kagan, an appointee of President Barack Obama, wrote the opinion of the court. In it, she wrote that a state may not interfere with private companies’ speech in search of what the state views as ideological balance. 

State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R—Deer Park), who authored HB 20, released a statement following SCOTUS’ decision. 

“I am disappointed in the United States Supreme Court for their decision to send our case back to the lower courts. Their decision does not cause me to waiver from what I have always believed: Texas was right in passing this law,” he said. 

Cain stated that he too would continue the fight. “From originally authoring the Texas Heartbeat Act to leading the Texas Legislature on social media censorship laws, I will consistently stand up for what is right.”

Will Biagini

Will was born in Louisiana and raised in a military family. He currently serves as a journalist with Texas Scorecard. Previously, he was a senior correspondent for Campus Reform.