AOC Blocks Comedian on Twitter - But He Might Have the Last Laugh After Filing First Amendment Lawsuit
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thought she had seen the last of a certain heckler on Twitter when she blocked him on the platform, but the man has just sued her, citing a ruling the left wielded against Donald Trump and saying that because she is a member of the government, she can’t violate people’s free speech by blocking them from criticizing her online.
As many others have, crude comedian Alex Stein has been a virulent critic of AOC and has even confronted her in person with his off-color rants and sexualized taunts. Most notably, he posted a video after confronting her as she entered the Capitol on July 13.
In the video, Stein is heard taunting AOC about her “sexy” body and criticizing her for her stand on abortion.
“She wants to kill babies, but she’s still beautiful. You look very beautiful in that dress. You look very sexy. Look at that booty on AOC,” he catcalled, according to CNBC. “Look how sexy she looks in that dress. Oooh, I love it AOC. Hot, hot, hot like a tamale.”
Here is a video he posted of the incident. I was actually walking over to deck him because if no one will protect us then I’ll do it myself but I needed to catch a vote more than a case today pic.twitter.com/RdwCNBDIBb
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 14, 2022
Stein has engaged in other examples of this criticism online and has been a constant opponent on AOC’s Twitter feed. That is, until she blocked him and disabled his ability to post comments to her feed.
In the wake of AOC’s block, though, Stein jumped to the courts and cited the same ruling that the left used against Donald Trump when he tried to block abusers on his Twitter account.
“Stein’s lawsuit cites a federal appeals court decision that ruled against then-President Donald Trump, saying he violated the constitutional rights of several people by blocking them from following him on Twitter,” CNBC noted.
The court’s first decision came down in May 2018 and maintained that Trump could not block people in his official capacity as president because it violated their freedom of speech. Later on, an appeals court upheld that ruling.
AOC was having her own issues on Twitter, too. The following year she tried to get the courts to let her ignore the ruling that prevented Trump from blocking people. AOC demanded that the court allow her to block another New York politician on Twitter.
In the end, AOC, who is having other legal problems lately, seemed to acknowledge the legitimacy of the ruling against Trump because she ultimately settled the case against her brought by Brooklyn assemblyman Dov Hikind, who claimed she was not allowed to block him on Twitter.
In fact, AOC even issued an apology to Hikind and unblocked him from having access to her Twitter account.
AOC agreed that Hikind “has a First Amendment right to express his views and should not be blocked for them,” in November 2019 when she settled the case and retreated from her Twitter blocking.
Apparently, Stein is pointing to AOC’s own actions in 2019 as proof that he has a case. And it’s pretty hard to deny his point.
“I really don’t have any hard feelings for AOC,” Stein said, according to CNBC. Stein is also not seeking monetary damages.
“I really would like to have her unblock me,” he said because it would allow him to “communicate with her.”
Stein’s way of protesting may be uncouth, but some noted that AOC herself has sided with the uncouth before.
This you? pic.twitter.com/HrCeB2kvXt
— Jenna Ellis 🇺🇸 (@JennaEllisEsq) July 14, 2022
But AOC seems to have the U.S. Supreme Court on her side this time, too. In 2021, the SCOTUS vacated the lower court rulings that Trump and other politicians are not allowed to block people on Twitter. On the other hand, Stein’s blocking came after he made comments in person, not as a faceless online account. So, the case is murky at best on a legal basis.
The lawsuit claimed that AOC‘s block was “in retaliation to Mr. Stein’s exercise of his First Amendment right.”
“Mr. Stein has a constitutional right to access Ms. Cortez’s Twitter account as part of vigorous public comment and criticism,” Stein’s lawsuit insisted. “Ms. Cortez’s practice of blocking Twitter users she disagrees with is unconstitutional, and this suit seeks to redress that wrong.”
Stein’s lawyer said that his client has free political speech. “My client is a political satirist. Political speech, the Supreme Court has said, is the highest level of protected speech,” attorney Jonathan Gross said.
Stein also cited AOC’s recent ethics problems in the House as another reason he decided to target her. The New York representative is under fire in Congress for her alleged violations of ethics for her participation at the 2021 Met Gala. She is accused of illegally accepting tickets, refusing to pay thousands to vendors, and breaking House rules in the process.
“I think ethically, AOC is kind of playing fast and loose,” Stein noted.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seems to want to have it both ways. She wants all the attention and adulation of being a star and left-wing member of the House of Representatives without having to abide by the House rules or the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The outcome of this case is one to watch.
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