Man Who Sued Apple For Failing To Save Him From Porn Now Suing US Attorney General To Strike Down Section 230
from the [leela-voice]-ohhhh...-stupidER dept
Batshit litigant and armchair legislator Chris Sevier is back! The man who once sued Apple because he could access porn from his laptop (entendre intended) is still vexing courthouses with his attempts to sue his way back into the good graces of social media platforms after being asked to leave because [taps “batshit” in opening sentence].
The man who believes the only way through his addiction to porn is to sue or legislate it into the ground has filed a lawsuit [PDF] in a Florida federal court that’s full of the insanity we’ve come to know and (well, probably not love) expect from a Sevier lawsuit.
It opens with this presumptuous language:
This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief that challenges the sole surviving provisions of the “Communications Decency Act of 1996”, 47 U.S.C. § 230 et. seq.,1 (hereinafter referred to as “Section 230”) for namely violating the Petition and Access Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as well as the Free Speech, Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses.
Section 230 violates the First Amendment. What an absolutely tired allegation. I mean, even the former president is making that claim, and we all know how incredibly skilled DJT was at sussing out the facts. But this allegation is different! That’s the angle Sevier is taking, hoping the courts will find his assertion credible, rather than just more of the same ridiculousness.
The Plaintiffs attack this issue from a different angle than the Trump Plaintiffs. Congress, not Twitter, Facebook, or Youtube, made Section 230. If a litigant wants to have a court strike down one of Congress’s laws, the proper party to sue in most cases is the chief enforcer of Congress’s laws, the United States Attorney General. That is what the ACLU did in getting all of the other sections of the Communications Decency Act struck down in Reno American Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844 (1997). That is what the Plaintiffs have done here.
Well, I guess Sevier should know. After all, he lists himself as a “de facto attorney general” in his lawsuit, placing his name alongside such luminaries as John Gunter (Special Forces of Liberty) and Richard Penosky (Warriors for Christ).
But let’s scroll back a single page and enjoy this part of Sevier’s first footnote:
Section 230 is vague and not the least restrictive means to fulfill any interests asserted by the government.
I’ve got some news for you, Chris. Section 230 isn’t an imposition. It’s an immunity. So, it’s not about “fulfilling” the “interests” of the government. It’s about protecting online entities from vexatious lawsuits targeting them for the speech of others. I’m no lawyer, but I assume getting everything ass-backwards in the first footnote is generally a bad idea.
As Sevier sees it, there are only two options facing the court he’s chosen to sue in: strike down Section 230 of the CDA for “abridging the right to petition the government for redress of grievances” or allow Florida’s new, blatantly unconstitutional anti-social media law to bypass any and all legal challenges for its First Amendment violations. Once again, IANAL but I can’t tell how being unable to sue Twitter over account moderation is “petitioning the government.”
While still not a lawyer, I can’t help but wonder if using superheated language is the best approach when you have neither facts nor the law on your side. I know the general tactic is to “bang the table” when you lack facts/law but
Social media websites injured the Plaintiffs by falsely marketing themselves as a place where the Plaintiffs were free to exchange their political and religious views. After inducing the Plaintiffs to create and invest heavily in their user profiles on social media webistes that marketed themselves as glorified digital bulletin boards that were neutral on religious and political expression, the social media websites arbitrarily shifted their standards and were no longer neutral towards religious and political speech, engaging in self-help reprisal actions. The social media websites changed the deal terms in bad faith after having reached critical mass and having successfully created a monopoly on the digital public square to the shock and awe of users like the Plaintiffs. The bad faith censorship in the wake of arbitrary shifting standards that were designed to elevate the religion of Secular Humanism over non-religion and other religions has economically and emotionally injured the Plaintiffs. Social media websites have been permitted to get away with these consumer protection violations because of a Congressional action in making Section 230.
Lot of swipes at the internet in this paragraph. Almost makes it seem as though Sevier doesn’t enjoy being on it. But his lawsuit is all about being allowed to be back on it, which is some supreme sour-graping: the equivalent of “the food was terrible and such small portions.”
According to Sevier (who should never be relied on for legal advice, free or otherwise), the Thing To Do would be to say the new Florida law is cool and legal and unassailable.
In determining the trajectory of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the public’s interest would likely best be served if the Court goes with the second option presented.
Or, if not, there’s always the compelled speech option Sevier touts in footnote 4.
In this case, the Plaintiffs seek a legal path so that social media websites that were never affiliated with a religious institution or political party from their inception will be forced to keep their promises to consumers to remain neutral on political and religious speech.
From there, the lawsuit moves on to discuss Sevier’s various bootings (along with those of his co-complainants) as well as the shitload of stupid anti-Section 230/anti-First Amendment laws that have been introduced around the nation — some of which are straight-up reposts of Sevier’s bespoke legislation, the “Stop Social Media Censorship Act.” That takes up about five pages and concludes with this:
The Plaintiff, along with hundreds of legislatures, have spent an enormous amount of time, money, and resources working on this issue because it is vital to the strength of our democracy and the welfare of our citizens. The Court could hold that the “cure-all” to the problems presented by this case is the state legislature must be responsive in enacting the Stop Social Media Censorship Act, if they want their constituents to be protected from the deceptive trade practices perpetrated by social media websites.
Dude, you misspelled “wasted.” And I doubt Sevier is really out any real amount of money for the anti-First Amendment fanfic he banged out on his presumably non-Apple computer and thrust into the hands of idiot legislators who couldn’t be bothered to run a perfunctory Google search on their interloping patron.
Since we know this lawsuit is doomed (DOOMED!), let’s just do some WTF-ing at the stuff Sevier has inserted into his litigation for no discernible reason.
After engaging in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, some of the members of De Facto Attorneys General and Special Forces Of Liberty joined groups of former Special Forces and FBI to do extractions in the area of sex trafficking overseas.
I’m sorry, but what? Were they just “in the area” of sex trafficking or did they extract sex trafficked people? I mean, this sounds like they parachuted into “an area” to hang out with Gary Glitter before returning home to file baseless litigation.
“…the concerted efforts of manufacturers and retailers of Internet-enabled devices to distribute prostitution websites and pornographic websites in flagrant disregard of obscenity codes and products liability statutes.”
Sevier may have given up the porn, but that won’t stop him from masturbating.
In 2021, Rep. Sabatini introduced the Stop Social Media Censorship Act (HB33), and subsequently, for unknown reasons, Rep. Sabatini got into some kind of squabble with Speaker Sprowls, as passions do tend to run high in the legislative branch and there are a lot of opportunities for conflict in the legislative branch. This dust-up caused the members of the Florida House to oppose Rep. Sabatini’s bills simply because of “who he was” and not because of “the meritorious substance of his bills.” In the wake of the Sabatini/Sprowls spat, Governor De Santis got his staff to use the Stop Social Media Censorship Act as a preliminary foundation to draft the monstrosity that became SB7072.
At the risk of sounding snarky, SB7072 – although well-intended – was distorted by ambitions and legal ignorance. Upon information and belief, personal glory might have been prioritized over substance and the rule of law. The judicial branch can help the legislative branch get things right.
To sum up, just completely fucking wrong about everything.
The Plaintiffs challenge every section and every subsection of Section 230, collectively and individually, for having been misconstrued or written to prevent citizens from acquiring relief from the government for the bad faith act of social media websites in violation of the petition and access clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Once again, getting booted from a platform is not government action. Suing social media companies isn’t seeking redress for government-caused harms. If Sevier wants to sue the government over its legislation, he can do so. What he can’t do is sue to stop platforms from exercising this immunity in cases where it’s appropriate. And that includes this case, where Sevier wants Section 230 and the First Amendment ignored because he and his moronic co-conspirators are unhappy about being booted from social media platforms for being their unhinged, bigoted, stupid selves.
Dozens of pages follow this assertion. None of them are worth reading for anything more than comic relief. There’s an inexplicable font change on page 132 of the 145-page filing — one padded by a duplication of the original complaint. And there’s reference to “amici,” suggesting parties other than the plaintiffs wish to express their views on this litigation, but the “amici” appear to be nothing more than Sevier dumping in some arguments from another lawsuit where he’s hoping to be allowed to file an amicus brief.
For no discernible reason, there’s this:
WHAT IS THEIR INTEREST
And this (quoted verbatim):
Our rights come from God. Our rights
Just like on the dollar bill. [Patriotic music swells.]
There are other moments of pure insanity, like this suggestion that preventing people from suing social media companies over moderation decisions violates both the First Amendment and consumer protection laws.
Section 230(b)(l) asserts that “it is the policy of the United States to promote the continued development of the Internet and other interactive computer services and other interactive media” but that policy must fail if completely blocks aggrieved parties, like the Plaintiffs and the Trump plaintiffs, from having the opportunity to petition the government for redress against social media websites that have engaged in harmful consumer protection violations in view of the FirstAmendment.
And I apologize for quoting this much of a very long footnote, but I don’t even know what to make of the first paragraph’s take on Section 230. And the second paragraph must be read in its entirety to truly comprehend the extent of Sevier’s (and his co-plaintiffs’) delusions.
The social media websites shifted their standards in bad faith and censored the Plaintiffs because their Constitutionally protected religious and political speech offended the delicate sensibilities of the employees who happened to work for the social media websites at the time. At the time of each censorship, the Plaintiffs had previously invested a ton of time and money in their user profile accounts. Every time the Plaintiffs have threatened Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube with legal action, the social media websites promise to immunize their deceptive and destructive trade practices by invoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This assumption based on the public record that social media websites might have total immunity under Section 230 has given rise to the Plaintiffs cause of action here in which the Constitutional or the parameters of Section 230 are in question.
The Plaintiffs collectively consists primarily of Christ-followers, who served in the United States Military in foreign theaters of war, namely on the rule oflaw mission, which is purposed to better ensure a government’s compliance with their highest Constitutional authority. The Plaintiffs have continued that mission state-side in America even though they no longer officially operating under Title 10 jurisdiction on behalf of the Armed Forces. The Plaintiffs routinely file comprehensive lawsuits across the United States on different controversial and complex issues that typically concern the “culture wars” and First Amendment issues that are too “politically hot” for the government-funded Attorneys General to pursue. In bringing such lawsuits, the Plaintiffs – without apology – often end up converting Article III Courts into their own private legislative research commission. Out of the overflow of the litigation pursued by the Plaintiffs, the Plaintiffs subsequently draft legislation for all 50 states and for the federal government, which is then routinely introduced by a bi-partisan network of sponsors that stretches across the Country before the Article I branch. The legislation authored by the Plaintiffs that gets presented to the members of legislative branch is legally vetted ad nausem and is calculated to survive judicial review, if subsequently challenged once enacted.
Sevier will be laughed out of court again. The clerk won’t be expected to transcribe the judge’s LOLing. This is stupid stuff done by a stupid man who is apparently incapable of learning from his multitudinous mistakes. Twitter is not the government. THE END. Expecting the First Amendment to be abridged and Section 230 to be struck down just because no platform is willing to host your shitty content is the epitome of entitlement. No one owes you anything, Chris (and cohorts). No one owes you a platform. And, given your general output, it’s completely unsurprising no one’s willing to give you one.