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Thursday, June 27, 2024

About the Murthy vs Missouri decision...

Regarding Murthy v. Missouri: the Supreme Court decision yesterday about government coercing social media companies to censor users' activity based on political content.  SCOTUS decided that the plaintiffs had no standing and dismissed the lawsuit.

This seems like a colossal victory for the government and social media companies.  HOWEVER...

The case was *not* dismissed.  Today's ruling dealt with the temporary injunction in the case, not the case itself.  The case was REMANDED, back down the legal chain.  It could still come before the high court where the plaintiffs can better frame their arguments with solid evidence of coercion and censorship.

I believe that such a thing is not only possible, it is almost guaranteed to happen.

Twitter, or X as it's called now, is going to be VERY interesting to watch as it pertains to the case.  When Murthy v. Missouri was first filed it was confronting a seemingly unassailable block of social media companies, especially Twitter.

But Twitter/X is no longer part of that.  It's in the hands of Elon Musk now.  Who may prove to be quite enamored with the idea of opening up Twitter's old files and shed some sunlight on how his company under previous management censored content because the government told it to.

That may be a more substantive body of evidence than a few emails were as was the crux of the plaintiff's arguments.  If not in support of the Murthy plaintiffs then almost certainly worth a case all its own.

So to those who have been frustrated by today's ruling: be of good cheer.  This sort of thing has happened before, and it will again.  Personally I believe that Alito, Gorsuch, and Thomas were correct in their dissent.  But I'm not ready to throw out the bathwater with the baby quite yet.  This was a ruling on the injunction, not necessarily the case itself.  The case was sent back to the lower courts.  And might still come before the Supremes again.