Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano summarily dismissed Rep. Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) $250 million lawsuit against Twitter and parody Twitter accounts, calling it “novel litigation” that could backfire as “courts don’t like to be used to make political statements.”
On Monday evening, Fox News first reported that the House Intelligence Committee ranking member is suing the social-media platform, a couple of anonymous Twitter users, and political consultant Liz Mair for defamation while further accusing Twitter of “shadow-banning” him and conservatives. Nunes later went on Fox’s Hannity to declare that this was just the “first of many lawsuits” he planned to file.
Appearing on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning, Napolitano immediately said that “it’s a novel litigation” and “we haven’t seen anything like this before” when asked his opinion on the suit.
“Usually when public officials sue because of what somebody said or didn’t say about them, they lose,” he added. “The theory being they have as big a megaphone as the person they claim has harmed them.”
Noting that Twitter’s not regulated by the First Amendment as it’s a private company, the Fox analyst wondered whether Nunes was just looking to make a statement, prompting co-host Steve Doocy to excitedly declare that that’s exactly what the Republican congressman is doing.
“Sometimes courts don’t like to be used to make political statements but we will see where this goes,” Napolitano replied.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade then pointed out that Nunes is also accusing Twitter of suppressing his tweets. Napolitano, who has been described as Fox News’ “lonely truth-teller,” explained that while that may be “horrible,” it is “not illegal.”
“They’re not the government,” he added.