NetChoice and Murthy: Speech and Coercion in the Digital Age

Event Video

What can state actors do to protect or interfere with online public discourse? The recent argument in National Rifle Association of America v. Vullo suggests that there is some outer limit of government coercion on private actors to interfere with disfavored ideas. But questions from the bench in Murthy v. Missouri, argued the same morning, have some wondering if those limits might allow for significant “informal” pressure by government actors on platform operators to restrict user speech.

Together, the cases highlight the significance of the NetChoice cases heard last month. Can laws like those adopted in Texas and Florida create counter-pressure against coercion from the federal government? What responsibility do states have in protecting their own citizens’ participation in online public discourse?


  • Alan Gura, Vice President for Litigation, Institute for Free Speech
  • Prof. Julia D. Mahoney, John S. Battle Professor of Law, University of Virginia School of Law
  • Matt Stoller, Director of Research, American Economic Liberties Project
  • Moderator: Prof. Todd J. Zywicki, George Mason University Foundation Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.