WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on Monday in two cases challenging state laws regulating social media platforms. The Florida and Texas laws at issue limit the power of the largest social media companies to moderate and curate speech on their platforms and require the companies to disclose certain information to the public. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed an amicus brief with the Court, urging it to reject the “extreme” arguments advanced by the platforms and the states, and arguing that, while the First Amendment protects platforms’ editorial decisions, it also leaves space for carefully drawn regulation that serves democratic values.

The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute.

These cases are immensely important and will have far-reaching implications for the digital public sphere and for our democracy. It’s difficult to think of any other recent First Amendment case in which the stakes were so high.

The following can be attributed to Scott Wilkens, senior counsel at the Knight First Amendment Institute.

What the Supreme Court says in these cases could have an enormous impact on state and federal legislation going forward that tries to regulate social media platforms’ content moderation. It is important that the Court not construe the First Amendment rights of the platforms so broadly as to prevent governments from enacting carefully drawn laws that advance First Amendment values.

The Institute’s amicus brief urges the Court to invalidate both states’ must-carry provisions, which prohibit social media platforms from removing or limiting the visibility of user content in certain circumstances. The brief also urges the Court to invalidate Florida’s individualized-explanation provision, which requires platforms to notify users when any action is taken to moderate their content and to provide a detailed explanation of the reason for the action. At the same time, the brief urges the Court to uphold Texas’s individualized-explanation provision, which is far less burdensome than Florida’s and may be consistent with the First Amendment. Read the Institute’s brief here.

Read more about Moody v. NetChoice and NetChoice v. Paxton here.

Lawyers on the Institute’s amicus brief, in addition to Jaffer and Wilkens, include Alex Abdo, Ramya Krishnan, and Hannah Vester.

For more information, Adriana Lamirande, [email protected]