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FIRE statement on Murthy v. Missouri

Supreme Court chamber

Erik Cox Photography /

U.S. Supreme Court chamber in Washington, D.C.

Below is a statement from FIRE Chief Counsel Robert Corn-Revere on today's Supreme Court ruling on Murthy v. Missouri:

The Supreme Court sidestepped deciding whether government pressure on social media platforms violates the First Amendment. But just a few weeks ago, it unanimously reaffirmed a core First Amendment principle: The government can’t censor by private coercion any more than it can by public legislation. 

Despite reams of evidence documenting government pressure, the court held today these plaintiffs lacked standing to sue. FIRE is concerned about what this means for future First Amendment plaintiffs. But the majority opinion notes courts have the power to stop government attempts to pressure social media platforms when proven. That’s important.

When government officials attempt to force platforms into censorship, Americans need to know. To secure transparency, Congress must take action. A little bit of sunlight would go a long way toward ending the censorship by coercion at issue here.

Read FIRE's model legislation that would bring more transparency to government attempts to pressure social media companies into censoring users.

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