Trump Hires Former 9th Circuit Judge For Twitter Court Battle

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A former California appeals court judge who retired in 2017 over sexual harassment allegations is now representing former US President Donald Trump in his legal battle with Twitter.

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Former 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski filed Friday to appear in Trump’s appeal of a trial court order dismissing a lawsuit against Twitter over the banning of Twitter. former president of the social media platform following the January 6 riots at the US Capitol.

Kozinski declined to comment. John Coale, the lead attorney in the Trump case, said Kozinski was brought in to help because of his experience with the 9th Circuit and no further changes were planned for the legal team.

Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gestures during oral argument in San Francisco, September 22, 2003.
Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gestures during oral argument in San Francisco, September 22, 2003. Photo by Paul Sakuma/Pool/File Photo /Reuters

Kozinski retired in 2017 from the 9th Circuit, the federal appeals court that covers much of the western United States, after the court opened an investigation into him following allegations of misconduct former lawyers and other junior staff.

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Kozinski said at the time that staying in his role would be a distraction for the federal justice system. He said he « always had a broad sense of humour » and « may not have been sufficiently aware of the particular challenges and pressures women face in the workplace ».

He never intended to make his employees uncomfortable, he said.

The Washington Post first reported on the allegations of misconduct against Kozinski in December 2017. Reuters has not independently verified these allegations. Filing a complaint is not a finding of wrongdoing.

In 2019, Kozinski returned to the 9th Circuit to represent the plaintiff in a lawsuit for alleged copyright infringement in the film « The Shape of Water. » The parties in 2021 agreed to reject it after Kozinski won a key decision.

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He was also part of a team of attorneys in federal court in Los Angeles that sued Paramount Pictures Corp last month for alleged copyright infringement over the blockbuster « Top Gun: Maverick. » Paramount said the allegations were baseless.

Last year, Trump sued Alphabet’s Twitter, Facebook and Google after banning it from their platforms following the Jan. 6 riot.

U.S. District Judge James Donato in San Francisco in May dismissed Trump’s lawsuit against Twitter, rejecting the former president’s claim that the ban violated his First Amendment freedom of speech.

Twitter said at the time that it permanently deleted Trump’s account because his tweets violated the platform’s policy prohibiting the « glorification of violence. »

When contacted on Friday, a Twitter attorney referred Reuters to the tech company, and a Twitter spokesperson declined to comment.

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