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Commentary By Ilya Shapiro

MI Responds: Ilya Shapiro Reacts to SCOTUS Decisions in Moody v. NetChoice and Trump v. United States

Governance Supreme Court

NEW YORK, NY – Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute, reacts to today's Supreme Court decisions in Moody v. NetChoice and Trump v. United States.

On the Court's decision to vacate and remand for further consideration on social media regulations in Moody v. NetChoice: 

"The five NetChoice opinions will take a while to digest, but the fact that the Court was able to speak with one voice to send these cases back to the lower courts to more deeply consider the important First Amendment issues here signals that the justices are taking seriously the brave new social-media world we live in. In light of the Court’s dismissal of the challengers’ claims in Murthy v. Missouri last week—making it essentially impossible to sue over government collusion with Big Tech—the policy arguments for treating technology companies like public utilities have gotten stronger. States, federal regulators, and judges alike will have to work with lawyerly precision to get this right."

On the Court's presidential-immunity decision in Trump v. United States:

​​​​​​​"Although Trump supporters will crow and antagonists will wail, the Court’s presidential-immunity decision doesn’t absolve the former president or put anyone above the law. Indeed, the ruling was both eminently predictable and, in any other context, utterly unremarkable: presidents are immune from prosecution for official acts but not for unofficial ones—and the devil of how that rule applies lies in the details of lower-court evaluations of a particular president’s actions. In other words, President Obama can’t be charged with murder for ordering drone strikes, but it will be up to the district court (and then D.C. Circuit) to determine whether President Trump took the election-related actions for which he was indicted in his official or personal/candidate capacity. Chief Justice Roberts did well to issue a narrow and careful opinion, guiding judges without pre-judging this case."

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow and director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute. Please direct any media inquiries to press officer Grace Twehous at