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Trump to appeal Twitter censorship lawsuit dismissal

A judge dismissed the lawsuit last month.
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Former President Trump, and other plaintiffs, have filed a notice registering his intent to appeal the dismissal of the lawsuit against Twitter by a US District Court Judge in May.

Trump and other plaintiffs that have previously been permanently suspended from Twitter, filed a lawsuit against the platform, claiming the bans constitute a violation of the First Amendment.

Twitter filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which was granted by US District Court Judge James Donato.

Earlier this week, the plaintiffs filed a notice with the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit registering their intent to appeal the dismissal.

We obtained a copy of the intent to appeal for you here.

In his ruling in favor of dismissal of the dismissal, Judge Donato said that Twitter’s content moderation decisions did not violate the First Amendment because Twitter is a private entity, not the government.

“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,” the judge noted in an 18-page order. “Plaintiffs are not starting from a position of strength. 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 further noted that the only way the plaintiffs would have legally made a First Amendment claim was under the state action doctrine, which applies when the government is deemed to be directing the activities of a private entity “to such an extent that its participants must be deemed to act with the authority of the government and, as a result, be subject to constitutional constraints.” Donato said that the doctrine “is not an easy claim to make.”

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