A pair of bills passed by lawmakers during the 2021 Utah Legislature raised significant questions about the role of government in policing free speech.
The first, SB228 from Sen. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, aimed to put regulations on how social media companies moderate online content. Critics warned the bill was likely unconstitutional or would be preempted by existing federal law. Gov. Spencer Cox vetoed it earlier this week.
The second, HB72, dubbed the “porn filter” bill, requires all new cellphones and tablets sold in Utah to have adult content filters turned on by default.
We’re joined by First Amendment lawyer Ari Cohn who discusses why these bills violate free speech protections in the Constitution. He also says lawmakers, and the public, need to gain a better understanding of how the First Amendment works.