WASHINGTON (NEWSnet/AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday held back efforts in Texas and Florida to limit how Facebook, TikTok, X, YouTube and other social media platforms might regulate content posted by their users.

The justices returned the cases to lower courts in challenges from trade associations for the companies.

The court usually is in recess from late June until early October; and a flurry of case rulings was issued last week. Another major case opinion issued Monday involved presidential immunity claims.

The case of Moody vs. Netchoice, a legal dispute over social media laws in Texas and Florida, considered how social platforms regulate content posted on their networks.

Both laws aimed to address conservative complaints that the social media companies were liberal-leaning and censored users based on their viewpoints, especially on the political right.

The Florida and Texas laws were signed by Republican governors in the months following decisions by Facebook and Twitter, now X, to cut then-President Donald Trump off over his posts related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.

Trade associations representing the companies sued in federal court, claiming that the laws violated the platforms’ speech rights. One federal appeals court struck down Florida’s statute, while another upheld the Texas law. But both were on hold pending the outcome at the Supreme Court.

When Gov. Greg Abbott signed the Texas law, he said it was needed to protect free speech in what he termed the new public square. Social media platforms “are a place for healthy public debate where information should be able to flow freely — but there is a dangerous movement by social media companies to silence conservative viewpoints and ideas,” Abbott said. “That is wrong, and we will not allow it in Texas.”

But much has changed since then. Elon Musk purchased Twitter and, besides changing its name, eliminated teams focused on content moderation and welcomed back some users previously banned for hate speech.

President Joe Biden’s administration sided with the challengers, though it cautioned the court to seek a narrow ruling that maintained governments’ ability to impose regulations to ensure competition, preserve data privacy and protect consumer interests.

Lawyers for Trump filed a brief in the Florida case that had urged the Supreme Court to uphold the state law.

During arguments in February, the justices seemed inclined to prevent the laws from taking effect.

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