The Washington Examiner reports that former President Donald Trump has suffered a preliminary defeat in the lawsuit he brought against Twitter.
In case you didn’t already guess, the defeat was handed to Trump by U.S. District Judge Robert Scola, Jr., an appointee of former President Barack Obama.
According to the Examiner, Trump filed the suit against Twitter in the Southern District of Florida, despite the fact that Twitter, in its user agreement, states that any lawsuit brought against the social media platform has to be filed in California, specifically California’s Northern District.
As could have been expected, Twitter soon filed a motion to have the case transferred from the Sunshine State to the Golden State. And Judge Scola just granted their request.
In his decision, Scola wrote that “Trump’s status as President of the United States does not exclude him from the requirements of the forum selection clause in Twitter’s Terms of Service.”
“The Plaintiffs have failed to satisfy their heavy burden to show that this case should not be transferred,” the judge said.
Trump, as Scola suggests, had made the argument that his presidential status makes him exempt from Twitter’s user agreement, which requires the lawsuit to be filed in California. But the judge disagreed.
This particular suit was filed fairly recently and reportedly stems from the former president’s accounts being removed from Twitter and other social media sites following the riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Trump has also brought similar lawsuits against Google and Facebook, the Examiner notes.
In these court filings, the former president argues that the platforms have violated his First Amendment rights. Ordinarily, private companies are not subject to the First Amendment, but Trump claims this is an exception, as these sites had been working in coordination with the federal government.
The suits are still in their early stages. Thus far, both Twitter and Google have succeeded in getting their cases moved to California.
There is little doubt that the icons of Big Tech are more likely to get favorable rulings in California, but that still likely won’t be the end of the matter. In fact, the lawsuits may very well end up at the U.S. Supreme Court. Only time will tell.