Last July, Hawaii representative and longshot Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard registered a lawsuit against Google, accusing the company of violating her First Amendment rights to free speech as it temporarily froze her campaign’s advertising accounts. On Wednesday, California’s Central District Court refused the lawsuit outright.
Gabbard’s effort, Tulsi Currently, Inc., asked for $50 million in damages from Google to get”continuing and serious violations of Tulsi’s right to free speech” In the lawsuit, her effort claimed that Google “helps to operate elections” through political advertisements and search outcomes — a debate District Judge Stephen Wilson firmly refused.
In dismissing the case, Wilson writes what Gabbard “fails to establish is the way Google’s regulation of its platform is in any way equal to some political regulation of an election” If it comes to Google, “an undisputedly private business,” that the First Amendment’s free speech protections don’t apply.
Last week, another California courtroom reached the exact same decision at a situation that right-wing group PragerU brought against YouTube.
In case of timing, Gabbard’s report was suspended after the first presidential debate since audiences sought information concerning the candidate that was unknown for a period of time. In the suit, Gabbard noted that Google took her advertisements account offline “from the thick of this crucial post-debate period.”