Eyes on the Court

‘Tis the season. The Supreme Court delivered big wins for Google and Twitter last week, rejecting lawsuits that sought to hold tech giants accountable for terrorism-promoting content on their platforms. 

However, the Court did not provide any broad statements on the immunity provision of Section 230, which protects internet companies from most legal claims over user-generated content. The justices disposed of the Google case with a three-page, unsigned opinion, stating  the Section 230 issues were not ready for a decision at that time. 

In the Court’s rejection of a suit regarding an ISIS attack on a Turkey nightclub, Justice Thomas emphasized that imperfect efforts to remove terrorist content did not equate to assisting in a terrorist act.

The Court also rejected an emergency request to block a local and state ban on assault weapons sales in Illinois as the justices continue avoiding Second Amendment-related disputes. 

Additionally, the justices agreed to hear two notable cases next term. One involves the “seven-member rule,” a federal law allowing a minority of House or Senate members to demand records from the Executive Branch, originating from a Democratic-led effort in 2017 to obtain records related to former President Trump’s hotel lease. The other case reviews a lower court’s decision that declared a congressional district in South Carolina an illegal racial gerrymander.