Tracker Detail

Texas Bill H.B.20

Return to policy tracker

Date Initiated
Last Updated


Signed into law by the Governor in September 2021, the legislation establishes complaint procedures and disclosure requirements for social media platform's management and removal of content. Most notably, the law prohibits social media companies from censoring (i.e., banning, demonetizing, or otherwise restricting) user content based on the viewpoint of the user or another person, the viewpoint represented in the user's expression, or a user's geographic location in Texas. It allows for a Texas resident who has been “wrongfully” censored due to their political ideology to sue the platform under the law. The attorney general of the State of Texas is also authorized to bring legal action on their behalf.


September 22, 2021. Following the passage of the bill, NetChoice, LLC, and CCIA, industry groups representing Google, Facebook, and other social media platforms, sued the Attorney General of Texas in federal court in the Western District of Texas. The suit alleged that the law violates social media companies’ First Amendment rights to engage in their own speech and “exercise editorial discretion” over the speech posted to their platforms (in addition to violations of the Commerce, Due Process, Full Faith, and Credit, and Equal Protection clauses).

December 1, 2021. One day before the law was to go into effect, a federal judge issued a ruling blocking Texas from enforcing its new social media law. The ruling was immediately appealed by the Texas Attorney General.

March 13, 2022. Following the filing of briefs in the case, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to reinstate the law. The groups representing social media platforms subsequently filed an emergency application to the United States Supreme Court.

May 31, 2022. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court vacated the staying of the preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the law while the lawsuit is decided.

September 16, 2022. In a 2-1 split, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law and reversed the district court's preliminary injunction.

December 15, 2022. NetChoice, LLC, and CCIA petition the Supreme Court to review the court of appeals decision.

September 29, 2023. Supreme Court grants petition for review. The review will be limited to Questions 1 and 2 as presented by the U.S. Solicitor General's brief.

December 7, 2023. NetChoice, LLC, and CCIA filed their brief of petitioners. Briefs of an amicus curiae (amicus briefs) in support or in support of neither party filed.

February 26, 2024. The Supreme Court holds oral argument in NetChoice, LLC v. Paxton.

Further reading