(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- In late May, Governor DeSantis signed into law a bill to safeguard Florida citizens from social media censorship and prohibit tech companies from interfering with elections by banning political candidates from their platforms.
Within no time, tech companies threatened to bring lawsuits against the State of Florida for what they claimed was a violation of their First Amendment rights. Tech companies argued that the First Amendment prohibits the government from “compelling or controlling speech” on privately-owned platforms.
And on Wednesday, June 30, a Federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the Florida law that was set to go into effect on July 1.
In issuing the injunction, District Judge Robert Hinkle of the North District of Florida said he believes the law will be found unconstitutional. In his decision, Hinkle wrote that the plaintiffs “are likely to prevail on the merits of their claim that these statutes violate the First Amendment,” adding that there is nothing in the law that “could be severed and survive.”
The lawsuit was brought by tech trade groups NetChoice and the Computer and Communications Industry Association which claimed the Florida law violates the First Amendment and freedom of speech.
In their complaint, the companies said that instead of preventing censorship, the law empowers Florida government officials “to police the protected editorial judgment of online businesses that the State disfavors and whose perceived political viewpoints it wishes to punish.”
Governor DeSantis has maintained that the law sought to make Big Tech companies accountable by advancing a state consumer fraud theory. When he signed the bill into law, DeSantis explained that Big Tech are “advertising certain things, they have certain service terms,” but ultimately they are not holding to those terms. “That is fraud on the public,” DeSantis explained.
At the time the Governor signed the law, he anticipated lawsuits would be brought, but believed that it would be upheld in court.
Judge Hinkle’s decision does not overturn the law. Rather it delays its implementation until the lawsuit works its way through the courts.