Legal Fellow Mayze Teitler talked to The Just Security Podcast’s Paras Shah about a federal judge’s recent preliminary injunction that limits the executive branch’s contact with social media platforms regarding content moderation issues. While Teitler recognized that the judge’s opinion does reference some instances where the White House’s actions “might actually raise some difficult First Amendment questions,” they emphasized that the suit mentions many interactions between the Biden administration and social media companies “that seemed far less troublesome and simply demonstrate the challenges and frustrations that private platforms faced as they sought guidance from the government in responding to an emergent global health crisis.”  They underscored that, so far, cases taking up questions of government and platform communications have lacked “the kind of analytical attention to detail–especially this recent decision–that we might hope for.”

On the question of what this injunction indicates about the state of the First Amendment, Teitler said, “It's hard to generalize from this decision because the justification and the theory is so thin. And I think for that reason, it's pretty likely that the Fifth Circuit is going to step in and potentially change the scope of this.”

Listen to the full episode here.