In Murthy, SCOTUS Distinguishes Between Government and Social Media

Court rejects case over lack of standing

Jun 26, 2024

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in Murthy v. Missouri, a case which alleged the federal government had unconstitutionally pressured social media companies on content moderation decisions protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ case for lack of standing, determining that plaintiffs failed to show that the content moderation decisions at issue were directly tied to pressure from the Biden Administration.

“It’s critical that the Supreme Court distinguish between the independent content moderation decisions made by social media companies and communications from government actors,” said Chamber of Progress Senior Legal Advocacy Counsel Jess Miers. “What we see in this decision is that the Court actually understands how content moderation works. Platforms have an important reason to seek information from actors like the CDC or national security leaders, but at the end of the day, their content moderation decisions and platform policies are their own. That reasoning puts the Court in a position to side with NetChoice in NetChoice v. Paxton and Moody v. NetChoice.”

During consideration of Murthy v. Missouri, Chamber of Progress submitted a joint amicus brief along with NetChoice, CCIA, and the Cato Institute arguing that, regardless of which side Justices landed on, the Court should make clear that digital platforms are not state actors. The brief was mentioned during oral arguments.


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