An Obama-appointed judge in San Francisco dismissed President Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter for banning his account and other conservative voices, including The Gateway Pundit, from the platform.
President Trump filed a lawsuit against Twitter and its CEO, Jack Dorsey, last year after the social media giant suspended his account permanently due to the “risk of further incitement of violence.”
According to the lawsuit, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which states that online service providers like Twitter cannot be held responsible for content posted by others, is unconstitutional.
Judge James Donato of the US District Court for the Northern District of California tossed out this lawsuit saying that “Twitter is a private company, and ‘the First Amendment applies only to governmental abridgments of speech, and not to alleged abridgments by private companies.’”
Donato’s ruling comes nearly two weeks after Trump told CNBC he had no interest in returning to Twitter even if his ban were to be lifted by Elon Musk, the Tesla chief whose $44 billion offer to buy Twitter has been accepted by the company’s board.
In his 17-page ruling, Donato wrote that Trump and the other plaintiffs “are not starting from a position of strength” with their First Amendment claim.
The judge noted, citing federal case law, that, “Twitter is a private company, and ‘the First Amendment applies only to governmental abridgements of speech, and not to alleged abridgements by private companies.’ ”
Donato rejected the notion that Twitter’s ban of Trump and the others was attributable to the government’s actions, which would be the only way to uphold the claim of a violation of the First Amendment.
“Overall, the amended complaint does not plausibly allege that Twitter acted as a government entity when it closed plaintiffs’ accounts,” Donato wrote.
The suit also asked the judge to rule that the federal Communications Decency Act was unconstitutional.
The CDA says online service providers such as Twitter cannot be held responsible for content posted by others.
Donato dismissed that claim after finding that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to challenge the CDA. The judge said the only way they could have such standing was to show that Twitter “would not have de-platformed the plaintiff” or others but for the legal immunity conferred by the CDA when it came to content.
Donato dismissed a third claim, that Twitter had violated the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices again because Trump and the other plaintiffs agreed that California law would govern disputes between Twitter and its users, as Twitter’s terms of service states.
Lastly, the judge dismissed a fourth claim of the suit, made under Florida’s Stop Social Media Censorship Act.
The judge said that only one named plaintiff in the case, Dominick Latella, had an active Twitter account at the time Florida’s law took effect on July 1, 2021, and so is the only plaintiff who could conceivably have a claim under the law.
“There is also a major concern about the enforceability of the SSMCA,” Donato wrote.
“Florida government officials were enjoined from enforcing the SSMCA on June 30, 2021, the day before the law was to take effect, in a well-reasoned decision issued by the Northern District of Florida,” which found the law violated the First Amendment, the judge wrote.
Last month, Elon Musk bought far-left Twitter for $44 billion to protect free speech. Following this news, President Trump told Fox News he would not return to the platform and promised to join his own TRUTH Social app.
Trump has been posting on his social media app. He even bragged that he loved being on TRUTH.