A Gainesville resident filed a lawsuit against Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, on Monday for blocking him on Twitter.
Peter Morgan Attwood, 45, tweeted at Clemons on Feb. 20 asking why he voted against HB 219, a bill that would allow the Florida House to discuss a possible ban on assault weapons. The next day, Attwood discovered Clemons had blocked him on Twitter and later Facebook, Attwood said. Now, Attwood’s attorney is asking the courts to declare Clemons’ actions as viewpoint exclusion from a public forum and a violation of the First Amendment.
“He doesn’t have a right to do that if he’s operating his Twitter and his Facebook as a representative of the people,” Attwood said.
Clemons represents District 21, which includes part of Alachua County and Gilchrist and Dixie Counties.
Attwood retweeted a tweet by Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School shooting, about the House vote and added a personal message for Clemons.
“Hello @ChuckClemons21 I’m a constituent. Please explain this vote please. Thank you,” the tweet reads.
The next day he was blocked, Attwood said.
Clemons didn’t respond to requests for comment but posted his thoughts about the lawsuit on social media Monday.
“This lawsuit is frivolous and a waste of taxpayer time and money,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “Any legislator, or any citizen, has the right to decide who they will or won’t allow to interact with them online.”