A federal judge on Friday tossed former President Donald Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter, rejecting the former president’s request to have his social media account reinstated.
Judge James Donato, an Obama appointee, dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that Twitter is a private company and Mr. Trump’s First Amendment rights were not violated by having his account permanently suspended.
Mr. Trump was one of several plaintiffs, all of which had their accounts terminated. The former president was banned on Jan. 8, 2021, over concern he would allegedly incite more violence following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“Twitter is a private company, and ‘the First Amendment applies only to governmental abridgments of speech, and not to allege abridgments by private companies,’” the judge wrote.
The former president’s attorneys were reevaluating their lawsuit and had been considering dropping it altogether prior to Friday’s dismissal after tech billionaire Elon Musk’s recently moved to purchase the social media platform.
John P. Coale, Mr. Trump’s attorney, had told The Washington Times last month he anticipated meeting with Mr. Musk after the billionaire obtains negotiating power for the company.
Mr. Musk and Mr. Trump, who is backing the startup Truth Social, are now competitors in the social media sector and have traded glancing jabs at the attractiveness of the other’s platform in recent days.
After the announcement of Mr. Musk’s forthcoming Twitter takeover, Mr. Trump said he would not return to Twitter but told Fox News he thought Mr. Musk was a good man. Mr. Trump published a post on his Truth Social platform on Thursday saying, “I’M BACK!”