“Did his lawyers get their degrees from Walmart?” Appeals court skeptical of Trump’s lawsuit against X

A federal appeals court heard Trump’s legal team’s argument regarding the former president’s ban from X, which reportedly did not go as planned.

Twitter, now X vs. Trump

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According to Politico, “A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard Trump’s lawyer contend that Twitter, now known as X, acted at the behest of members of Congress and other U.S. government officials when it deplatformed Trump in January 2021, shortly after thousands of his supporters stormed the Capitol.”

X’s defense

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Illustration. Image credit: CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP

It continued, “The company said at the time that Trump’s tweets — including one in which he declared he would not be attending Joe Biden’s inauguration — were ‘highly likely’ to incite further violence.”

Trump’s lawyer’s argument

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The report further stated how Trump’s lawyers alleged that “the ban violated Trump’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment because Twitter was responding to government pressure.”

The Judges sounded skeptical

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The reporter continued, “But two of the three appeals judges suggested that the calls from about a half dozen House members and senators were not enough to plausibly threaten the companies with legal consequences.”

One Judge’s reasoning

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Judge Mark Bennett said, “That’s a very, very small group of Congress. Why do statements from, let’s say, four senators at a committee hearing all of a sudden commit all of the power of the federal government to create state action here? … I don’t know of any case that stands for that proposition.”

Trump came back

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Image credit: Potashev Aleksandr / Shutterstock.com

After Elon Musk bought it, the former president was allowed to return to Twitter. Trump only posted once since then, and it was his mugshot from Georgia. Instead, the presidential hopeful uses Truth Social, the social network he started.

Truth Social came with a price

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Trump fell out of Forbes’ top 400 for the second time in three years. Reportedly, part of the reason was Truth Social.

People have questions

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Reddit poster wondered, “Did his lawyers get their degrees from Wal-Mart? Twitter is a business. Not the government. There’s no free speech case. Jesus, how many times does it need to be explained?” Another mocked Trump, “This frivolous lawsuit is going NOWHERE. What a stable genius.”

It’s still a private business

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Illustration. Image credit: Shutterstock

Many agreed that Twitter is “still a private business.” Someone explained, “Pressure or not, Cheetolini had no right to access the platform. They could have kicked him off for any reason or no reason. That’s just the way these online platforms work.”

A gentle reminder

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One person remembered the recent Supreme Court ruling: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too – no pun intended. % _ ^ I refer to the ruling that a certain cakemaker did not have to work for a gay couple if she chose not to, as her business was a private co., as is Twitter.”

Twitter, now X, is not a government

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Illustration. Image credit: Shutterstock

Another added, “Twitter cannot violate someone’s First Amendment rights. Only the government can. You would think someone who wants to run the government so badly would know how the government works. This is elementary school-age civics.”

More red flags

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Someone wrote, “Bro…you WERE the government…you had a literal press room where you could go and say things to the public. Just because a company said “no thank you” after your many terms of service violations doesn’t mean your first amendment rights were violated. Honest question: can a company violate a citizen’s free speech rights? I feel like there is some precedence for this.”

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