A judge tossed out a lawsuit from former President Donald Trump seeking to lift a ban imposed by Twitter on its social media platform.
The lawsuit argued that the ban was a violation of Trump’s First Amendment right to free speech, but the judge disagreed Friday.
U.S. District Judge James Donato denied the lawsuit on the basis that the First Amendment protected speech from government abridgments and not from those from a private company.
“To start, the amended complaint does not plausibly show that plaintiffs’ ostensible First Amendment injury was caused by ‘a rule of conduct imposed by the government,'” Donato wrote in the ruling. “The amended complaint merely offers a grab-bag of allegations to the effect that some Democratic members of Congress wanted Mr. Trump, and ‘the views he espoused,’ to be banned from Twitter because such ‘content and views’ were ‘contrary to those legislators’ preferred points of view’.”
Trump has until May 27 to file an amended complaint.
Twitter banned Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 rioting at the U.S. Capitol conducted by some of his followers who sought to overturn the official results of the 2020 presidential election. Twitter claimed that Trump, who was president at the time, was continuing to incite the violence by pressing on his claims about fraud in the election. It later said his ban was permanent, even if he ran for president again.
Trump’s ban on Twitter later came into question when tech billionaire Elon Musk struck a deal to buy the social media account for about $44 billion. While many of the former president’s followers called for Musk to lift his ban, Trump definitively claimed that he would not return to Twitter because he claims it’s boring.
He added that he would instead use his own social media platform called TRUTH social.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump told Fox News in April.
Donato was nominated by former President Barack Obama.
Here’s more about the lawsuit:
Trump announces lawsuit against Facebook, Twitter