A class-action lawsuit against Twitter has been filed with the named plaintiff being Donald Trump. The suit alleges that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, is unconstitutional.
Another allegation in the suit is that the actions by Twitter violate the First Amendment by containing Donald Trump and others similarly situated from their right to freely speak. At first blush, most would think that that argument has no merit because the First Amendment is a limit only on government action and Twitter is a private company. But in the complaint filed by Donald Trump, he alleges that Twitter is acting as an agent of the Federal Government. He cites specific examples of pressure put on Twitter by the Democrats in Congress, and the CDC to force Twitter to stifle the free flow of information coming from Donald Trump and others who disagree with the actions of the Federal Government.
Robert Barnes is a very competent and highly respected constitutional rights lawyer. Barnes opines that Trump’s lawyers are sandbagging in their complaint. Barnes thinks that the lawyers could have done a better job in their complaint. He characterizes the complaint as sabotaging Trump’s chances of winning by not sufficiently alleging state action. He further does not think that there is sufficient basis for a class action and that it will not be certified. Barnes also thinks that the lawyers left out some legal claims that should have been included in the complaint.
The deficiencies in the complaint can be cured by filing an amended complaint, but if the purpose of the attorneys is to sabotage Trump’s legal claim, as alleged by Barnes, an amended complaint will almost certainly not be filed.
Below is an article written by Mary W. Maxwell and posted on James Fetzer’s blog on July 11, 2021. It gives her summary of the allegations in the lawsuit. Maxwell thinks that the complaint filed by Trump’s lawyers is a masterpiece that will “save us.” She overstates the point. This case is important but please do not look to it to “save us” as Maxwell seems to. We are in the midst of a communist revolution; we are in dire straits. We will soon find out if Trump’s lawsuit is a “masterpiece,” as claimed by Maxwell, or “sabotage” as claimed by Barnes.
July 11, 2021, James Fetzer
Bt Mary W. Maxwell
This lawsuit is superb. It is brilliant. It will solve the problem of Free Speech. Thank you, Twitter, for making such an egregious error in shutting down the communication of a sitting president of the United States. Thank you, Jack Dorsey, for buckling under pressure from (then) Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Richard Blumental, Nancy What’s Her Name, and the CDC, such as to make possible this searing plaint to the courts. Thank you, CDC, for being your usual awful self, harming us citizens to the max.
Gotcha. You are done, the lot of you.
I am a conservative Republican. You may be surprised to hear that I thought Donald Trump was a terrible president. The “Muslim ban” floored me, simply floored me. I never had the sense that the president knew, or cared, what was in the Constitution. I sued him (Maxwell v Trump) in 2017 over his threat to nuke North Korea. His moving of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was a sacrilege to people of all three Abrahamic religions. It was jaw dropping that he chose John Bolton for National Security. I am currently in appeal (Maxwell v Secretary of Defense) against mandatory vaccination.
I ran against Trump in the 2020 New Hampshire primary for the Republican presidential nomination. I was glad that Trump didn’t get a second term, though I find Biden’s administration horrific and surreal. I know for sure that the election was stolen and that the “rioting” at the Capitol, on January 6, 2021, was done by agents provocateurs. And by the way, I hate the partisanship that has become childish on both sides. This “Westminsterization” of our Congress has been making representative government a joke.
It’s a Wow
That said, Trump v Twitter is a genuine constitutional solution to many problems. Even if it never flies – though I expect it will fly – the accomplishment is already there. Below, I will print the whole thing, or almost all of its 9,000 words, skipping a few items that were repetitive. I have bolded the many, many excellent points made by Trump’s all-new legal team. They should get, I dare say they will get, medals of honor. I offer them the Maxwell litigation salute.
Here is the gist of the case, in Nine Points:
Point #1. As everybody knows, Twitter chopped off the communication between (then) President Donald J Trump and his 88.9 million Twitter followers.
Point #2. They did it by way of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 1996, that protects from liability the social media companies that may censor someone unconstitutionally.
Point #3. This is a new one on me – social media companies (e.g., Twitter and Facebook) were furnished with this trick, in Section 230, IN ORDER TO MAKE POLITICAL CENSORSHIP HAPPEN. (I faint!)
Point #4. Members of Congress (including Adam Schiff of impeachment fame, oh please) bullied Jack Dorsey to do the de-platforming, against his better judgement. They threatened him with all sorts of loss of business and personal embarrassment – as is their wont.
Point #5. “Legislators” made known their desire to prevent publication of “COVID-19 “misinformation,” including the lack of safety and efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and the use of face masks,” and “Questioning the integrity and results of the 2020 Presidential election.”
CDC is mentioned in the suit, as to its control over Americans’ communication
The CDC (I retch) was no innocent bystander. At Paragraph 77, please find:
“Point #6: The CDC has publicly stated that it works with “social media partners,” including Twitter, to “curb the spread of vaccine misinformation.” In a document dated October 11, 2019, the CDC expressly stated that it was “engaging . . . partners” to “contain the spread of [vaccine] misinformation” and specifically states that the CDC would “work with social media companies” to that end.”
There is real constitutional content here, as in the making of culture, e.g., in Paragraph 61 of the lawsuit we read:
“Point #7. By banning Plaintiff, Defendants have made it more difficult to communicate directly with the American public. Our national discourse is becoming immeasurably more altered and one-sided on race, medicine, the election process, the economy, immigration, etc.”
Blessed, blessed relief just from seeing that in print – in a Court of Law. And this precedential beauty at Paragraph 114:
“Point #8. In censoring the specific speech at issue in this lawsuit and in deplatforming Plaintiff, Defendants were acting in concert with federal officials, including officials at the CDC and on the Biden transition team. As such, Defendants’ censorship activities amount to state action.”
I have never seen that argument before. Where have I been all my life?
You knew I’d save the best for last, concerning Mr Facemask himself. I will try to see that arrests, by citizen’s-arrest if necessary, follow. (Oh, you think you can get me for incitement? Oh yeah? Try it! Deplatform me!) The corpus-delecti-to-be is at Paragraph 78:
“Point #9. Dorsey and Twitter acted to censor other medical opinions that did not uphold that narrative of Dr. Fauci and the CDC, which took on both a political and medical nature, given the interconnection between government policy and pending and science.”
Are we thinking a 18 USC 1983 prosecution?
Hugs and kisses for the US Constitution. You rock, James Madison! You shine, George Mason! Luv ya, all.
Oops, I forgot to say that Trump is not the only plaintiff. Also in the case are the American Conservative Union, a single litigant named Linda Cuadros, and what is called the Putative Class, a potential huge number of people (maybe some from Australia? I know at least one dual US-Oz citizen) whose accounts were suppressed for not meeting community standards.
Please, Readers, rejoice with me. This case is unanswerable. It is filed at the District Court of Florida. The judge has only to agree that an injunction is warranted. Lucky him or her. His or Her Honor will become famous for SAVING AMERICA AND SAVING THE WORLD.
Our troubles are over. Amen.
And here is the lawsuit, a PDF. I have bolded sections that are significant.