Correction: The Plaintiff is a former Assemblyman, not a Congressman.
Kirsters Baish’s Opinion| A lawsuit was filed against self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by former Democratic New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind on Tuesday after the New York freshman congresswoman blocked users on Twitter because of their political views. The announcement of the suit came after a federal appeals court ruled earlier in the day that President Trump was barred from doing the same thing.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked me on Twitter yesterday apparently because my critique of her tweets and policies have been too stinging,” Hikind explained in a statement in which he announced the lawsuit. Fox News was able to obtain the suit, which was filed in the Eastern District of New York.
“Just today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling that elected officials cannot block individuals from their Twitter accounts, thereby setting a precedent that Ocasio-Cortez must follow,” Hikind continued. “Twitter is a public space, and all should have access to the government officials on it.”
According to Fox, “The First Amendment prohibits discrimination by government actors against a person’s free speech based on his or her viewpoints.”
Hikind continued, “It’s unclear if Ocasio-Cortez is aware of this ruling or not, but either way, I have decided, after speaking with my legal counsel, to initiate a lawsuit against her for blocking me and a host of other public figures. Ocasio-Cortez is acting cowardly and should be ashamed of her attempts to silence me. I’ve done nothing but address her ignorance and disregard for the truth. She constantly brags about the millions of followers she has but is afraid of my speech. She is a hypocrite. I’m looking forward to the day where she has to unblock me so that free speech in America is guaranteed even when it offends!”
The complaint seeks an injunction against Ocasio-Cortez, a declaration that she violated the First Amendment, and an award of attorney’s fees. The complaint focuses on Ocasio-Cortez’s popular and active @AOC account, with more than 4.6 million followers.
Ocasio-Cortez has maintained a much smaller and rarely used official account, @RepAOC, with only 171,000 followers, but has used her personal @AOC account to discuss politics and engage with constituents and colleagues regularly.
For example, the top post pinned to Ocasio-Cortez’s @AOC feed on Tuesday stated, “A #GreenNewDeal is our plan for a world and a future worth fighting for.” On July 5, she wrote to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, “Thank you, @SenSanders. It’s an honor to work alongside you and the millions of other people fighting for education, healthcare, and a living wage as rights.”
Omg hahahah @AOC blocked me!
I am ALWAYS respectful & civil. I present facts only, nothing personal. Somebody is threatened by facts & the truth! pic.twitter.com/IvZPMXKX0i
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) July 5, 2019
Hikind spoke to Fox, explaining that there were “several others, including journalists” who have been blocked by AOC all together from seeing or interacting with her Twitter posts.
According to the Daily Caller, AOC blocked the site in May when it published claims against her own regarding the Green New Deal rollout.
According to Fox, “After this article was first published, journalist Harry Cherry told Fox News he was blocked after calling Ocasio-Cortez a ‘moron’ following her remarks comparing border facilities to concentration camps. And, The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra wrote on April 5 that Ocasio-Cortez ‘finally blocked me and it was after I called out her latest set of lies.'”
Saavedra stated that he had been blocked after he wrote on the social media outlet about a video of the New York freshman congresswoman speaking in an abnormal way.
She finally blocked me and it was after I called out her latest set of lies pic.twitter.com/9mjrBBjDVv
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 5, 2019
“Ocasio-Cortez speaks in an accent that she never uses while telling a room of predominately black people that there is nothing wrong with them folding clothes, cooking, and driving other people around on a bus for a living,” Saavedra tweeted.
Ocasio-Cortez answered by saying that those “talking about [her] voice can step right off,” claiming that she had spoken in a similar manner when referring to Brett Kavanaugh, as well as her speech at the Women’s March.
“Saavedra reportedly was blocked after finding and posting videos of those speeches that he said contradicted Ocasio-Cortez’s claims. Hikind’s complaint mentions Wheeler, Cherry and Saavedra, as well as the student origination ‘Students for Trump.’ Earlier in the day, Hikind said he was seeking others to come forward,” Fox reports.
“If you or anyone you know has been blocked by @AOC please get in touch with me ASAP!” Hikind wrote in a Tuesday tweet.
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) July 9, 2019