- According to a district court judge in California, Donald Trump’s 2021 Twitter ban seems to be totally legal.
- In an order released on Friday , Trump and a group of other barred users must submit a fresh lawsuit by May 27th.
- President Trump said that Twitter violated the First Amendment and that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was unconstitutional.
- Because Trump and his co-plaintiffs failed to demonstrate a Section 230 nexus, their claim was rejected.
- Trump had no better success in his effort to execute Florida’s Stop Social Media Censorship Act, which is currently mired in the courts.
It seems that Donald Trump’s 2021 ban on Twitter looks perfectly lawful, according to a district court judge in California. A new complaint must be filed by May 27th for Trump and a group of other prohibited users, according to an order issued on Friday.
Nevertheless, the ruling is scathing of the lawsuit’s assertions, indicating that any revised version would have an uphill road, even if it keeps the door open for an appeal. President Trump had argued that Twitter had violated the First Amendment and that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act was illegal. In particular, the ruling rejected these concerns.
In the opening sentence of his analysis, Judge James Donato says, “Plaintiffs are not beginning from a position of strength.” It’s not going to get much better for Trump and his fellow Twitter exiles.
After Trump filed the action, it was relocated to California, where Twitter is based, as did similar lawsuits against YouTube and Metadata (then Facebook). When Trump’s first effort to get Twitter to reinstate his account failed, he submitted an updated lawsuit in an attempt to bolster his case.
The author says there is nothing “cagey” or “misleading” about these provisions. According to Trump, Twitter was functioning as a state actor when it removed him from the site because certain politicians had urged Twitter to do so.
Lawmakers are “absolutely free to express thoughts without being designated the official voice of ‘the State,'” the judgement states, rejecting a “grab bag” of claims referencing different Democratic elected figures asking for a ban on such expressions. So, it decides that “even harsh criticism from Congress” is “within the usual limits of a congressional investigation,” not like threats of punitive state action.
There was no Section 230 link shown by Trump and his co-plaintiffs, thus their claim was dismissed. They were also unable to persuade the judge to apply a Florida-based deceptive trade practises provision in a California court, and the judge determined that Twitter probably did not violate it. “At any moment, for any or no reason, the [terms of service] explicitly indicate that Twitter may suspend or cancel an account,” Judge Donato points out. ” “In addition, Twitter has the option of removing or denying distribution of any material.” ” Those clauses don’t seem to be cagey or deceptive in any way.”
In his attempt to enforce Florida’s Stop Social Media Censorship Act, a law that is already bogged down in the courts, Trump had no better luck.
If the judge’s rationale doesn’t drastically change, we should expect the final ruling to look a lot like this. Twitter has the option to reinstate Trump’s account willingly, which is a possibility now that billionaire Elon Musk is in the process of purchasing the service. But this is just the latest time that people who sue social media networks for banning them have lost in court.