After his Twitter account was suspended back in February, conservative political commentator Rogan O’Handley has filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Twitter and then-California Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
The lawsuit, formally known as O’Handley v. Padilla, alleges that O’Handley’s right to free speech was violated by Twitter and the California Office of Election Cybersecurity, which was created in 2018 to “educate voters” with “valid information” on the state’s election laws and procedures. Unsurprisingly, this agency became a tool for Padilla — who now represents California in the United States Senate — and California’s Big Tech Democrats to suppress political dissent online.
On Nov. 17, 2020, the Office of Election Cybersecurity submitted a request to Twitter to flag a tweet from O’Handley’s account, @DC_Draino, on the grounds that he had created “disinformation and distrust among the general public.” In his tweet, O’Handley had called for an audit of all ballots cast in California, as well as the creation of an independent commission to investigate the results of the 2020 presidential election.
When Twitter executives permanently suspended O’Handley’s account on Feb. 26, it had amassed 368,000 followers. It was O’Handley’s final tweet — a picture of the fence erected around the Capitol Building with the sarcastic caption “Most votes in American history” — that got him banned. Twitter justified the censorship by claiming that O’Handley had “violated rules about election integrity.”
Rogan O'Handley (@DC_Draino) bringing the ?????? calling out #BigTech and Big Government corruption! #TwitterBan— Center for American Liberty (@Liberty_Ctr) June 19, 2021
Learn more about and support his case: https://t.co/zhadrpf1qH pic.twitter.com/xo7vNhudHd
O’Handley’s lawsuit makes him the latest conservative figure to fight back against big tech tyranny. Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill protecting his citizens from being “deplatformed” by social media giants, like O’Handley or former President Donald Trump.
O’Handley is represented by the Center for American Liberty — a public interest law firm that successfully sued California Governor Gavin Newsom over Wuhan coronavirus restrictions — and Harmeet Dhillon's Dhillon Law Group.