A federal judge on Wednesday tossed Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s lawsuit against Google, “dismissing the Hawaii congresswoman’s allegations that the tech giant censored her free speech rights by briefly suspending her presidential campaign ads.”
As The Hill reported, Judge Stephen Wilson “shot down” Gabbard’s key arguments, “most prominently affirming that Google is not the government and therefore can’t be held liable for violating her First Amendment rights.”
Gabbard, a U.S. representative for Hawaii, sued Google last summer. The complaint identified Gabbard as “a candidate millions of Americans want to hear from.”
The lawsuit, which sought $50 million in damages, alleged that on June 28 internet searches were peaking after a Democratic debate the candidate participated in.
But, according to the lawsuit, “Google suspended Tulsi’s Google Ads account without warning. For hours, as millions of Americans searched Google for information about Tulsi, and as Tulsi was trying, through Google, to speak to them, her Google Ads account was arbitrarily and forcibly taken offline.”
Gabbard’s lawsuit marked the first time a presidential contender sued a large technology company over such claims, The Hill and other media reported.
Gabbard’s campaign “did not immediately respond” to The Hill’s request for comment.
Gabbard is one of only four Democrats remaining in the party’s field.
As of Wednesday, she had one pledged delegate compared to 65 for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 528 for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 595 for former Vice President Joe Biden. It takes 1,991 delegates to win the nomination.
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