Broadband Breakfast on February 21, 2024 – Social Media in the Courts

The Supreme Court ruling on state social media laws could shape broader tech regulation.

Broadband Breakfast on February 21, 2024 – Social Media in the Courts

Two cases that could set precedents for social media regulation are heading to the Supreme Court after lower courts issued divergent rulings. These center around Florida and Texas laws that bar platforms from suppressing users’ posts based on their opinions. With the high court poised to decide whether such statutes infringe on companies’ First Amendment rights, broader debates are simmering about overhauling long-standing legal shields for online networking sites. What exactly is at stake here? What ripple effects might these cases have on oversight and accountability across the social media landscape?


  • Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel, NetChoice
  • Ash Bhagwat, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law
  • Thomas Berry, Research Fellow, Cato Institute
  • Andrew Nichols, Shareholder, Charis Lex P.C.
  • Scott Wilkens, Senior Counsel, Knight First Amendment Institute
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources

The Big Tech & Speech Summit from March 2023 considered many of these issues:

Big Tech & Speech Summit
At the intersection of content moderation and political power.

As NetChoice's Vice President and General Counsel, Carl Szabo analyzes, advocates, and testifies on tech-related legislative and regulatory initiatives relevant to online companies. Carl is licensed to practice law in Washington, DC and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and has been recognized as a “Tech Titan” by the Washingtonian. Before law school, Carl worked at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on the staff of Commissioner Orson Swindle, where he helped create and implement the FTC’s Consumer Information Security Outreach Plan and assisted the White House in establishing the National Strategy for Cyber Security.

Ash Bhagwat is a Distinguished Professor of Law and the Boochever and Bird Endowed Chair at the University of California, Davis School of Law. He is one of the leading First Amendment scholars in the country, and the author of many books and articles including “Our Democratic First Amendment.” Professor Bhagwat is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Chicago Law School.

Thomas Berry is a research fellow in the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies and editor‐​in‐​chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review. Before joining Cato, he was an attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation and clerked for Judge E. Grady Jolly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He graduated with a JD from Stanford Law School and a BA in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College, Santa Fe.

As a partner at Charis Lex P.C, Andrew Nichols focuses on appellate proceedings and critical, high-stakes motions at the trial level. He handled diverse commercial and constitutional litigation, helping to build an appellate and critical motions practice that Legal 500 called “outstanding in all respects.” Recently, he was named a “top legal lion” by Law360 for his work in the U.S. Supreme Court. A skilled oral and written advocate, Andrew has extensive experience in intellectual-property litigation, consumer-products cases, and class actions of all kinds. 

Scott Wilkens is senior counsel at the Knight First Amendment Institute, bringing nearly 20 years of litigation experience in private practice. He focuses primarily on freedom of speech online and government regulation of social media platforms. Most recently, Wilkens filed a Supreme Court amicus brief on the Institute’s behalf in Gonzalez v. Google, a case addressing whether Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act protects social media platforms’ use of recommendation algorithms. Wilkens also recently filed amicus briefs on behalf of the Institute in the Fifth and Eleventh Circuits in cases challenging Florida and Texas laws that restrict the power of social media companies to moderate content.

Breakfast Media LLC CEO Drew Clark has led the Broadband Breakfast community since 2008. An early proponent of better broadband, better lives, he initially founded the Broadband Census crowdsourcing campaign for broadband data. As Editor and Publisher, Clark presides over the leading media company advocating for higher-capacity internet everywhere through topical, timely and intelligent coverage. Clark also served as head of the Partnership for a Connected Illinois, a state broadband initiative.

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