Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed an amicus brief in the TNM vs. Meta lawsuit that has challenged Facebook’s ability to censor Texans. The lawsuit has not only caused Meta to stop censoring The Texas Nationalist Movement, but it has shaken big tech lawyers and will likely hold social media giants to Texas HB 20, which forbids social media giants from censoring Texans.
Attorney General Paxton’s amicus brief was deeply critical of Meta’s requests, is complimentary of TNM’s lawsuit, and seeks to uphold Texas’ H.B. 20:
Texas passed HB 20 after numerous examples came to light where Facebook and other large social media platforms were shown to discriminate against users based on their users’ viewpoints. Texas determined that this behavior rose to the level that it implicated the State’s “fundamental interest in protecting the free exchange of ideas and information” within its borders.
Facebook likely had no basis to remove this suit to federal court. There is definitively no federal question jurisdiction because Plaintiffs’ suit arises under HB 20—a state-law cause of action.
California—as expressed through multiple recent, high-profile enactments—has propounded policy goals at loggerheads with HB 20. Among other things, California penalizes certain viewpoints that contradict state edicts.
In light of California public policy, there is a significant possibility that a California court applying California law would refuse or water-down HB 20’s enforcement.
You may read the full amicus brief here.
“I am grateful that Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed an amicus brief that brings to light many of the issues that the Texas Nationalist Movement has addressed in our lawsuit,” said TNM President Daniel Miller. “We hope to have the support of the Attorney General’s office as we work to ensure that Texas is free from censorship and that freedom of speech is abundant in our great state.”
Since filing the lawsuit, Meta has requested to move the lawsuit to a federal court in California. TNM and the Texas Attorney General’s Office agree that such a move would be against the interests of the state and the people of Texas.