Louisiana Woman Sues After State Senator Blocked Her On Twitter
A Louisiana woman is challenging a state senator’s right to block her on Twitter in court. Maya Detiege filed a lawsuit against Democratic Senator Katrina Jackson on Thursday (Feb. 9), per Associated Press.
Detiege says the lawmaker’s account is “a public forum,” which means Jackson shouldn’t be allowed to block posts critiquing her political views or campaigns, specifically her anti-abortion efforts. But Jackson says the woman was blocked for using hate speech.
“I don’t have to be subjected–as an African-American woman–to hate speech,” Senator Katrina Jackson said. She added, “This literally turns on what Black women have to be subjected to.”
According to a court docs screenshot shared by Louisiana Illuminator‘s Julie O’Donoghue, Detiege quoted tweeted Jackson’s June 24th tweet with voiced, disrespectful intent.
“I say this with all disrespect: burn in hell. You don’t care about women. You don’t care about pregnant people, you don’t care about children, you don’t care about education. I do not respect all Black women. Some of you b*****s are very dumb.”
.@KatrinaRJackson, an Black state senator, is being sued by Tulane University First Amendment Clinic over blocking a critic on Twitter who said “I do not respect all black women. Some of you bitches are very dumb.” #lalege #lagov pic.twitter.com/2bDZKSaX9r
— Julie O’Donoghue (@JSODonoghue) February 9, 2023
As of Friday, Senator Jackson retweeted Julie’s tweets, including the docs screenshot and her quote about tolerating hate speech.
For additional context, AP reports that Jackson was a “main sponsor of legislation” to make abortions illegal in the southern state after the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022.
Here’s What Maya Detiege’s Lawsuit Wants From Senator Katrina Jackson
Maya is reportedly an outspoken supporter of abortion rights. Her lawyer, Katie Schwartzmann, told AP in an email:
“Because as a public forum, she cannot silence views she does not like from that public forum.”
Schwartzmann filed the lawsuit in Monroe as the head of the New Orleans-based Tulane First Amendment Law Clinic.
Maya is asking a judge to declare that Senator Jackson violated her First Amendment right to free speech. She wants a court order lifting the block, so she may continue to comment on Jackson’s Twitter page.
The lawsuit names other people who Jackson has allegedly blocked for opposing opinions. It argues that Detiege was engaging in lawful speech.
“Senator Jackson has no compelling or important interest in blocking users engaged in lawful speech, including Ms. Detiege,” the lawsuit states.
This story is still developing.