Trump Spurns Conservative Groups’ Bid to Back His Facebook Lawsuit
(Bloomberg) -- Former President Donald Trump successfully blocked Warriors for Christ and two other conservative groups from backing his lawsuit accusing Facebook Inc. of illegally banning him for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The groups claim their religious and political views are wrongfully censored on social media and had hoped to submit a so-called friend-of-the court brief offering their own legal views of the case. In asking a federal judge in Miami for permission to file, they suggested Trump put his case on hold and instead use his “personal connections” to help pass state laws that would chip away at Facebook and Twitter Inc.’s federal protections.
“We support Trump’s case, but we think the path we’re suggesting is the best solution,” Christopher Sevier, a lawyer for the groups, said in an interview before the court ruled on the issue. “Different people want to be a hero and solve the problem -- and I understand that -- but sometimes that ambition can warp things a little bit.”
But the former president asked the judge to reject the groups’ friend-of-the-court request and on Wednesday won an order barring them from his case. His lawyer argued that their vision of how the case should proceed isn’t realistic because there’s no guarantee their proposed state laws will pass.
Their idea “is based on wild prognostications and is entirely speculative,” Trump lawyer Matthew Lee Baldwin said in a filing. The former president “is perfectly capable of presenting all the arguments relevant to this case.”
U.S. District Judge Kathleen Williams agreed, ruling the groups failed to provide evidence that they have unique information or perspectives that would assist the court in Trump’s case.
Sevier said the decision sets a “really bad precedent” for parties that want to get involved in related litigation.
The groups, which also include Special Forces of Liberty, said in court papers that they “routinely file comprehensive lawsuits across the United States on different controversial and complex issues that typically concern the ‘culture wars’ and First Amendment issues.”
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