O'Handley v. Weber
Description: California officials instructed Twitter to punish an American citizen for sharing political speech on the social media platform that government officials disfavored.
ADF urges US Supreme Court to protect free speech on social media
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch regarding a friend-of-the-court brief filed Friday by Holtzman Vogel PLLC on ADF’s behalf that urges the U.S. Supreme Court to take O’Handley v. Weber, a case in which California instructed Twitter to punish an American citizen for sharing political speech on the social media platform that government officials disfavored:
“Government officials can’t tell a social media company to punish an American citizen simply because they disagree with his political viewpoints. The First Amendment protects every person’s right to share his beliefs on Twitter, or any other public space, free from government censorship. We urge the Supreme Court to take this case, reverse the 9th Circuit’s ruling, and reaffirm the commonsense precedent set by Bantam Books v. Sullivan in the context of government officials who censor their constituents through social media platforms so that this utterly unamerican practice stops.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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John Bursch is senior counsel and vice president of appellate advocacy with Alliance Defending Freedom. Bursch has argued 12 U.S. Supreme Court cases and more than 30 state supreme court cases since 2011, and a recent study concluded that among all frequent Supreme Court advocates who did not work for the federal government, he had the 3rd highest success rate for persuading justices to adopt his legal position. Bursch served as solicitor general for the state of Michigan from 2011-2013. He has argued multiple Michigan Supreme Court cases in eight of the last ten terms and has successfully litigated hundreds of matters nationwide, including six with at least $1 billion at stake. As part of his private firm, Bursch Law PLLC, he has represented Fortune 500 companies, foreign and domestic governments, top public officials, and industry associations in high-profile cases, primarily on appeal. He received his J.D. magna cum laude in 1997 from the University of Minnesota Law School and is admitted to practice in numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.