Description: Lawsuit alleging that a Georgia Public Service Commissioner violated an individual's free speech rights by blocking her criticism of the Commissioner's positions on energy issues on Twitter and Facebook.
Durand v. Echols
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 11/15/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. Plaintiff Charged that Georgia Public Service Commissioner Violated Her Free Speech Rights. In a lawsuit filed in the federal district court for the Northern District of Georgia, a plaintiff asserted that a Georgia Public Service Commissioner had violated her free speech rights by blocking her accounts on Twitter and Facebook. The plaintiff described herself as “a concerned citizen” who was “politically active” and who had run to serve on the Public Service Commission before the a federal court cancelled the election based on a Voting Rights Act violation. The plaintiff alleged that her constitutionally protected speech on the Commissioner’s Twitter account and Facebook page included “criticism of Commissioner Echols’ positions on the viability of nuclear energy sources and programs in Georgia, effective methods of tackling carbon dioxide reduction, and Georgia utility rate increases.” For example, the plaintiff alleged that she responded to the Commissioner’s re-tweet of an assertion that a carbon tax would be ineffective in reducing global carbon dioxide levels with criticism of the Commission’s investment in nuclear power. The plaintiff sought to enjoin the defendant from censoring her comments and to enjoin “the current unconstitutional and standard-less practice of deleting platform activity and blocking users …due to their content or viewpoint.” Other relief sought included damages and attorney’s fees. 11/15/2022 Motion Download Brief filed by plaintiff in support of preliminary injunction.