Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is not backing down in his war against Big Tech.
The Daily Wire reports that DeSantis plans to appeal a recent ruling from a judge against a piece of legislation in his state designed to rein in Big Tech.
The legislation at issue here is Florida’s S.B. 7072. DeSantis signed it into law back in May, as The Daily Wire reported at the time.
The law reportedly came in response to recent moves by social media platforms to moderate and, some argue, censor user speech. The most conspicuous example, of course, would be Big Tech’s decision to ban former President Donald Trump following the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
S.B. 7072 is said to allow those who feel that Big Tech has unfairly discriminated against them to seek a monetary remedy through legal means.
S.B. 7072 also allows the attorney general of Florida to bring a lawsuit against a social media site. This would be an antitrust lawsuit that could result in the social media site being restricted from contracting with a public entity, according to reports.
The other major thing that S.B. 7072 does is stop Big Tech from de-platforming a political candidate. If it were to do so, then the Florida Election Commission would be allowed to impose a $250,000 per day fine on a social media site for de-platforming a candidate for a statewide office and a $25,000 per day fine for de-platforming a candidate for a non-statewide office, per the law, as The Daily Wire notes.
S.B. 7072 was recently challenged in the Florida courts, and one of those courts ruled against it. The judge to do so was U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle, a Clinton appointee.
“The legislation compels providers to host speech that violates their standards — speech they otherwise would not host — and forbids providers from speaking as they otherwise would,” Hinkle wrote. “Like prior First Amendment restrictions, this is an instance of burning the house to roast a pig. […] Balancing the exchange of ideas among private speakers is not a legitimate governmental interest. And even aside from the actual motivation for this legislation, it is plainly content-based and subject to strict scrutiny.”
Hinkle granted a preliminary injunction to stop S.B. 7072, or at least parts of it, from going into effect.
The matter is far from settled, however. As The Daily Wire reports, DeSantis has announced that he will be challenging the injunction.
Only time will tell if the governor has better luck at the next level.