Former President Trump asked a federal judge to reinstate his Facebook and Instagram accounts going into the 2022 midterm elections. In a new lawsuit, Trump’s lawyers filed a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida while he fights to be permanently reinstated to the platforms.
The Washington Examiner reports:
“This preliminary injunction against Facebook seems appropriate to file this week since they’ve been big in the news lately for all the issues they’re facing,” said John Coale, lead counsel of the Trump lawsuits against Big Tech companies. Constitutional Litigation Partnership, a legal entity created by Trump and his allies earlier this year, supports the lawsuit.
Trump’s accounts on Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram, had a combined following of about 59 million. His legal team argues Facebook is muzzling him while being a major avenue for public discourse and an essential tool for politicians to connect with voters and win elections.
“Zuckerberg and Facebook say it’s the 21st-century public town square; if so, they should uphold the First Amendment,” Coale said. “You can’t have it both ways. They’re like a public utility when it comes to speech.”
In the preliminary injunction, Trump’s legal team argued that by “cutting him off from the most effective and direct forms of communication with potential voters,” Facebook is “threatening irreparable damage to the Republican Party’s prospects in the 2022 and 2024 elections.”
Trump was first removed from the platforms following the Jan. 6th Capitol riot. Facebook’s Oversight Board briefly reconsidering the ban but ultimately decided to stick with the original decision.