Last week former President Trump filed a Class Action Lawsuit again Twitter and owner, Jack Dorsey, for violating the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Early reactions say it’s not looking good for a win for the Plaintiffs for several reasons. I’ll discuss those later; but first, let’s briefly run down what’s in the 40-page lawsuit.
*Please note the following are excerpts from the actual court document filed and will remain in quotes.
What Does the Lawsuit Against Twitter State?
“DONALD J. TRUMP, the Forty-Fifth President of the United States, LINDA CUADROS AND AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OFTHE CLASS.”
The “Class” is defined in the lawsuit as,
“All Twitter platform Users (“Putative Class Members”) who have resided in the United States between June 1, 2018, through today, who had their Twitter account censored by Defendants and were damaged thereby”
“Twitter has increasingly engaged in impermissible censorship resulting from threatened legislative action, a misguided reliance upon Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, and willful participation in joint activity with federal actors. Defendant Twitter’s status thus rises beyond that of a private company to that of a state actor, and as such, Defendant is constrained by the First Amendment right to free speech in the censorship decisions it makes.”
What is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996?
“Legislation passed twenty-five (25) years ago intended to protect minors from the transmission of obscene materials on the Internet, and to promote the growth and development of social media companies, has enabled Defendant Twitter to grow into a commercial giant that now censors (flags, shadow bans, etc.) and otherwise restricts with impunity the constitutionally protected free speech of the Plaintiff and Putative Class Members.”
“The immediacy of Defendants’ threat to its Users’ and potentially every citizen’s right to free speech cannot be overstated. Defendants’ callous disregard of its Users’ constitutional rights is no better exemplified than in the matter currently before the Court.”
“On January 7, 2021, Defendants permanently banned the sitting President of the United States from their platform for exercising his constitutional right of free speech.”
“Twitter’s censorship runs rampant against the entire Class, and the result is a chilling effect on our Nation’s pressing political, medical, social, and cultural discussions.”
“Plaintiff, a sitting President of the United States, was deplatformed by the Defendants, as were Putative Class Members, using non-existent, broad, vague, and ever-shifting standards. While Twitter’s deplatforming and prior restraint of the Plaintiff are well-documented, the untold stories of Putative Class Members are now stirring the public conscience.”
“Plaintiff respectfully asks this Court to declare that Section 230 on its face is an unconstitutional delegation of authority and that the Defendants’ actions directed at Plaintiff and Putative Class Members are a prior restraint on their First Amendment right to free speech…:
ARTICLE III AND ARTICLE IV goes on to accuse that Democrat Legislators coerced the Defendants to censor the Class, and of willful participation in joint activity with federal actors to censor the Plaintiff and the Class. The suit goes on to document many situations where members of the Class and the sitting President were censured, along with other documentation that Dr. Fauci expressly stated that the CDC was “engaging…partners” to “contain the spread of [vaccine] information”.
What is the Argument of the Lawsuit?
Alan Dershowitz, retired Constitutional Law Professor at Harvard and Mr. Trump’s lawyer during his first impeachment, said to paraphrase: “The Constitution only restricts the government and not private corporations. So the government uses Social Media private companies under Section 230 to do it for them, and the lawsuit hopes to prove this.’
As of yet, we have not received a response from the Defendants, so it should be interesting to see what they do. Maybe they will go straight for a dismissal since two of the three judges in the Florida court venue were appointed by former President Obama. Or, the judges could rule it’s out of venue and dismiss it, in which the lawsuit then could be refiled in a higher court.
I guess we wait and see where it goes, but if I know President Trump, this will be a long haul through a sluggish court system. Personally, I hope President Trump trolls them until they scream for mercy. After all, we don’t want to be where the Cuban people are today with no internet and no voice to the outside world; now do we?
There are 40 pages in the lawsuit, and these are just a few examples of what’s in it. If you would like to read the lawsuit in its entirety, click here.
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