Twitter, Inc. v. Paxton, No. 21-15869 (9th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's order, dismissing on ripeness grounds, an action brought by Twitter against the Attorney General of Texas, in his official capacity, alleging First Amendment retaliation. Specifically, Twitter alleged that the service of a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) by the OAG to Twitter after the company banned President Donald Trump for life following the events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was government retaliation for speech protected by the First Amendment. Twitter asked the district court to enjoin the AG from enforcing the CID and from continuing his investigation, and to declare the investigation unconstitutional.
The panel held that the case was not prudentially ripe because the issues were not yet fit for judicial decision where the OAG has not yet made an allegation against Twitter; where facts were not yet developed; and where Twitter need not comply with the CID, could challenge its enforcement, and could challenge the CID in state court. The panel stated that, while Twitter could suffer hardship from withholding consideration, adjudicating this case now would require determining whether Twitter has violated Texas's unfair trade practices law before OAG has a chance to complete its investigation. Furthermore, any hardship to Twitter from the alleged chill of its First Amendment rights was insufficient to overcome the uncertainty of the legal issue presented in the case in its current posture.