Former President Donald Trump has launched three class-action lawsuits against Twitter, Facebook, and Google-owned YouTube, alleging these social media behemoths of censoring him and a class of similarly situated plaintiffs in violation of the First Amendment and targeting the legality of Section 230 of the Communications Act. All three cases were filed in the Southern District of Florida.
Three different judges are presiding – Twitter’s case is before Judge Robert N. Scola, Facebook’s case is before Judge Kathleen M. Williams, and YouTube’s case is before former Chief Judge K. Michael Moore. All three cases are in their early stages, although Judge Moore has already entered an Order certifying that YouTube’s case poses a Constitutional question and giving U.S. Attorney Merrick Garland 60 days to decide whether to intervene on behalf of the federal government.
Legal scholars have differing opinions on the merits of the lawsuits, some calling Trump’s theory “interesting, albeit new and questionable” while others note thesteep legal obstacles standing in the way. There are also questions regarding venue, arbitration, class action bars and other provisions in these companies’ terms of service. Class-action practitioners are watching how these courts deal with traditional Rule 23 issues involving the unprecedented scenario of a former president serving as class representative, such as class definition, typicality, adequacy and superiority.
UWWM will continue to monitor developments in this and other class and mass tort actions, and will publish additional bulletins and updates for the benefit of its clients and colleagues.
The select mediators and arbitrators at UWWM’s Center for National Class and Mass Actions have decades of specific experience in class and mass actions and are uniquely qualified to assist you in resolving these legal disputes. For further information and scheduling, please visit our website.