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Lesson Plan: Moody v. NetChoice

Moody v. Netchoice

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit - Opinion (May 23, 2022)

Supreme Court Docket No. 22-277 (docketed on August 11, 2022)

Certiorari granted by the United States Supreme Court (September 29, 2023)

Oral Argument Scheduled for TBD.

Case Information

Supreme Court Filings

Briefs from Florida:

Briefs from NetChoice:

Amicus Briefs in support of States:

Amicus Briefs in support of NetChoice:

Supreme Court Precedents

  1. NetChoice, LLC v. Paxton, 142 S. Ct. 1715 (2022).
  2. Biden v. Knight First Amend. Inst. at Columbia Univ., 141 S. Ct. 1220 (2021).
  3. Nat’l Inst. of Family Life Advocates v. Becerra, 138 S.Ct. 2361 (2018).
  4. Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730 (2017).
  5. Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 576 U.S. 155 (2015).
  6. Sorrell v. IMS Health Inc., 564 U.S. 552 (2011).
  7. Rumsfeld v. Forum for Acad. & Institutional Rights, Inc., 547 U.S. 47 (2006).
  8. Good News Club v. Milford Cent. Sch., 533 U.S. 98 (2001).
  9. Hurley v. Irish-Am. Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Grp., 515 U.S. 557 (1995).
  10. Turner Broadcasting Sys., Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622 (1994).
  11. Zauderer v. Office of Disc. Counsel, 471 U.S. 626 (1985).
  12. PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robins, 447 U.S. 74 (1980).
  13. Wooley v. Maynard, 430 U.S. 705 (1977).
  14. Mia. Herald Publ’g Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974).
  15. United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).
  16. W. Va. State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).

Tournament Instructions

Teams of two high-school students will write an appellate brief, and present oral arguments, addressing these questions:

Petitioners will argue that laws' content moderation restrictions and individualized-explanation requirements do comply with the First Amendment.

Respondents will argue that laws' content moderation restrictions and individualized-explanation requirements do not comply with the First Amendment.

Phase 1 - Research and Write Your Brief

Coaches can register their teams at the Institute for Competition Sciences (ICS). ICS will generate a number for each team.  Odd-numbered teams will represent the Petitioners and even-numbered teams will represent the Respondents.

Teams will research and write their briefs. Carefully review the lesson plan. The brief must be a minimum of 2,000 words. Please download this template. The brief should have the following sections:

  1. Table of Cited Authorities: List all of the original sources, and other documents you cite in your brief.
  2. Summary of Argument: State your position succinctly in 250 words or less.
  3. Argument: Structure your argument based on at least ten Supreme Court precedents. The more authorities you cite, the stronger your argument will be–and the more likely your team will advance.
  4. Conclusion: Summarize your argument, and argue how the Supreme Court should decide this issue.

Be sure to proofread your work. The work must be yours, and you may not seek help from anyone else–including attorneys or law students. Students who submit plagiarized briefs will be disqualified.

Please review the winning submissions from previous years:

Phase 2 - Virtual Mentoring

Teams that register before November 3, 2023 will be invited to participate in a virtual mentoring session. These sessions will be hosted during the week of November 27, 2023. The Harlan Institute will match each class with a mentor from our network. These sessions will be helpful to finalize your briefs and prepare your preliminary round arguments.

Phase 3 - Preliminary Round

For the preliminary round, each team must prepare a YouTube video. The argument must be at least 15 minutes in length. Coaches will ask their students the following ten questions:

  1. Why is social media so important today?
  2. How does the Florida law restrict social media platforms’ ability to engage in content moderation by removing, editing, or arranging user-generated content?
  3. How does the Florida law require social media platforms to provide individualized explanations for certain forms of content moderation?
  4. Why did Florida enact its social media law?
  5. What tier of scrutiny should the Court review Florida's law with?
  6. Do social media platforms resemble newspapers, which can control their editorial content?
  7. Does the compelled speech doctrine protect the rights of social media companies?
  8. Do the social media platforms engage in commercial speech?
  9. Will the Florida law increase or decrease free speech on social media?
  10. Does the Florida law create a slippery slope towards censorship?

Teams will upload a PDF of their brief, as well as a link to their YouTube video to the Institute of Competition Sciences. The deadline for the preliminary round will be December 15, 2023. The brief and preliminary round video will be scored based on this rubric.

Phase 4 - Virtual Rounds

We will hold the Virtual Rounds over Zoom:

The virtual rounds will be scored based on this rubric. This video offers five tips to prepare for oral argument:

Phase 5 - Championship Round Rounds

The top teams will receive a free trip to Washington, D.C. to argue the championship round before federal judges the week of April 29, 2024.