FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 24, 2024) – Attorney General Russell Coleman joined a multistate coalition calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to stop online censorship from Big Tech companies.
The attorneys general from 18 states submitted an amicus brief supporting a pair of Texas and Florida laws that protect their citizens from censorship on social media platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), Facebook and YouTube. Courts have temporarily blocked the enforcement of both laws.
“In recent years, Big Tech companies have tried to silence voices they disagree with and tarnished the online marketplace of ideas. It’s essential we safeguard our lawmakers’ ability to protect Kentuckians, especially given how much time our children spend online,” said Attorney General Coleman. “These massive corporations even tried to censor Kentucky’s own Senator Rand Paul. Unless the Supreme Court protects the states’ authority to rein in Big Tech, these companies will be able to wipe conservatives and those they disagree with completely off the internet.”
The coalition argued that censorship of certain viewpoints threatens the marketplace of ideas and undermines the foundations of democratic governance.
The attorneys general also recounted notorious examples of social media platforms’ unchecked power to suppress differing views. Those who theorized the Covid pandemic originated from a lab leak in China were silenced. YouTube censored Kentucky’s own Senator Rand Paul over a video discussing the ineffectiveness of cloth masks. And perhaps most famously, just weeks before the 2020 Presidential election, Big Tech actively suppressed a New York Post article uncovering unflattering information found on Hunter Biden’s laptop. Each of these examples was later authenticated and proven accurate, far after the censorship damage was done.
The coalition concludes that state laws preventing platforms from censoring speech provide a strong backstop against government censorship, writing that “it is undisputed that the Federal Government, including the White House, has engaged in a years-long, behind-closed-doors campaign to push social media companies to suppress millions of constitutionally protected posts.”
General Coleman joined the Ohio and Missouri led amicus brief alongside attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah.