Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas today outlined a detailed legal argument for why social media companies might need to be subject to strict rules forbidding them from denying service to users for any reason or no reason, including the possibility of designating them as common carriers — which would effectively eliminate their ability to ban or censor users for legal, First Amendment protected speech.
Thomas outlined his opinion in a concurrence to reject a case that began under the Trump administration, challenging the President’s right to block users from his Twitter feed.
However, Thomas indicated that the Supreme Court will soon have to address the issue of tech censorship.
“We will soon have no choice but to address how our legal doctrines apply to highly concentrated, privately owned information infrastructure such as digital platforms” wrote Thomas.
Such a case would likely encompass many of the complaints brought by conservatives