Donald Trump is appealing to his base with a set of frivolous lawsuits
Donald Trump is appealing to his base with a set of frivolous lawsuits | via ABC Australia

It should be obvious to the MAGA crowd that Trump thinks they are all stupid.

The litigation is launched for PR and fundraising purposes.

I have received, Thursday, eight email requests for money based upon Trump’s hopeless lawsuits against Twitter and Facebook. All have the tone that Trump has exacted revenge, An RNC money-grub includes:

Your support is needed now more than ever.

President Trump announced that he has filed a class-action lawsuit against Google, Facebook, and Twitter.

Can you believe it?

FINALLY, Big Tech companies are being held accountable for CENSORING conservative voices.

At the landing page (I cut the sidebar in half):

Apparently I have only four minutes to donate. Will they not take my money five minutes from now? Aside from the lack of legal merit (see below), the money-grub is deceptive.

If I donate $50.00 today, my credit card would be charged another $50 on Saturday plus another $50.00 on Sunday and, thereafter, $50 each month. So my 50 bucks turns into $150 over the next four days and $700 over the next 12 months.

I also note that the text at the landing page has nothing to do with Twitter and Facebook. Rather, it addresses a conspiracy theory; something (I know not what) between the president and phone carriers.

The legal merits are quite dubious:

In order to prevail they have to convince a judge of the following:

Twitter has increasingly engaged in impermissible censorship resulting from threatened legislative action, a misguided reliance upon Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, and willful participation in joint activity with federal actors. Defendant Twitter’s status thus rises beyond that of a private company to that of a state actor, and as such, Defendant is constrained by the First Amendment right to free speech in the censorship decisions it makes.

“Public relations seems a greater motivation than actual legal analysis.”

The First Amendment prohibits the government from censoring speech (with few exceptions). In this case they must demonstrate — as you can see from the above — that Twitter is a government actor. (The Facebook and Google cases have the same wording.)

Furthermore, the Court will have to agree that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does not apply. The applicable part is this:

No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be held liable on account of—

(A)any action voluntarily taken in good faith to restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected; …

A local practitioner signed the complaint. However, lead counsel appear to be associated with the Connecticut firm, Ivey Barnum & O’Mara. That firm is primarily involved in real estate. Lead attorney from the firm appears to be John Q. Kelly. He specializes in personal injury and, … appearing on television. Kelly successfully sued OJ Simpson for the wrongful death of Nicole Brown Simpson.

The other prominent lawyer is John P. Coale. Coale is a Scientologist and husband of Greta Van Susteren. Coale, a Democrat, became part of Sarah Palin’s close circle. About 25 years ago, Coale won a massive suit against Big Tobacco. I cannot find anything on the federal docket over the past ten years. “I cannot find it” does not mean that it does not exist.

“The litigation is launched for PR and fundraising purposes. We all get to pay the tab for federal court costs.”

According to Bloomberg Law, several high profile constitutional lawyers have deemed the suit frivolous.

One individual sums it up perfectly:

“Public relations seems a greater motivation than actual legal analysis,” Martha Minow, a Harvard Law professor who is among several constitutional law scholars that have questioned the argument, told Bloomberg Law.
The litigation is launched for PR and fundraising purposes. We all get to pay the tab for federal court costs.

By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.