Judge dismisses Trump's lawsuit against Twitter ban

Posted 48 days ago


A federal judge threw out a lawsuit Friday aimed at ending Twitter's ban on former President Donald Trump from the platform.

The litigation was filed after Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter in the days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Twitter, joined by other social media platforms in banning Trump, said the decision was made "due to the risk of further incitement of violence." Judge James Donato of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California sided with Twitter in its motion to dismiss four claims against the company but left the door open for plaintiffs to file an amended complaint.

"The amended complaint alleges that the other named plaintiffs also had their Twitter accounts treated unfavorably. ... In plaintiffs’ view, these account actions were the result of coercion by members of Congress affiliated with the Democratic Party," Donato wrote. "The amended complaint is dismissed in its entirety. ... Plaintiffs may file an amended complaint that is consistent with this order by May 27, 2022."

The lawsuit was brought forth by Trump, the American Conservative Union, and five individuals in July of last year seeking to get themselves and others who had been kicked off Twitter back on the platform. The complaint had been amended over time by lawyers for the plaintiffs. In his ruling, Donato ripped apart the plaintiffs' four claims, which cited the First Amendment, Section 230, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Florida’s Stop Social Media Censorship Act.

"Plaintiffs’ main claim is that defendants have 'censor[ed]' plaintiffs’ Twitter accounts in violation of their right to free speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plaintiffs are not starting from a position of strength. Twitter is a private company," Donato wrote in his ruling. "Plaintiffs’ only hope of stating a First Amendment claim is to plausibly allege that Twitter was in effect operating as the government under the 'state-action doctrine.'"

The judge concluded the p... (Read more)

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