Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene are suing two Southern California cities and several other advocacy teams alleging they conspired to infringe on their free speech rights by pressuring venues to cancel a rally in 2021.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court docket on Thursday, alleges the venues caved to strain from the cities of Anaheim and Riverside and canceled contracts for his or her America First rally as a result of they disagreed with Greene and Gaetz politics. The 2 lawmakers are recognized for his or her sturdy help of former President Trump.
The lawsuit contends the first Modification provides the lawmakers the liberty to make use of the venues “on the identical foundation as different organizations and political figures with out regard to their viewpoint or the perspective of audio system at their occasion.”
A spokesman for the town of Riverside declined to touch upon the lawsuit on Friday. Anaheim spokesman Mike Lyster stated the town has “not formally acquired the declare however understand it and will probably be reviewing.”
The lawsuit additionally names 10 advocacy or political organizations who allegedly pressured metropolis officers and the venues to not host the rally.
Gaetz, Greene and their fundraising committees are searching for a declaration saying every of the defendants violated their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of affiliation as a part of the lawsuit.
They’re additionally asking for an injunction prohibiting the cities from denying or “coercing personal venues from getting into into services use contracts with Plaintiffs for future political rallies” and unspecified damages for emotional misery.
Alexander Haberbush, an legal professional representing Greene and Gaetz within the lawsuit, declined to remark.
Greene, a Georgia congresswoman, and Gaetz, who represents a lot of the Florida Panhandle, tried to host their rally at two places in Orange County and one in Riverside in July 2021, however the venues stored backing out.
After third venue cancels, Gaetz, Greene take ‘protest in opposition to communism’ to Riverside
Shortly earlier than GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene had been to look in O.C., the Anaheim venue canceled
The primary location to fall via was the Pacific Hills Banquet & Occasion Heart in Laguna Hills. The venue’s common supervisor instructed the Orange County Register on the time it opted to cancel after studying Gaetz and Greene can be talking.
The rally was moved to the Riverside Conference Heart, however the metropolis rapidly began receiving complaints. Councilwoman Gaby Plascencia stated on the time that the lawmakers “are the antithesis of every part Riverside stands for.”
Raincross Hospitality Administration, which operates the conference heart, asserted it was canceling the occasion due to the discrepancy on the certificates of insurance coverage it had been offered, in line with the lawsuit.
With lower than 24 hours till the rally, the group moved the occasion to the Grand Theater, a personal venue in Anaheim, however controversy adopted it. Dozens of individuals contacted the town to decry the occasion.
The lawsuit alleges a metropolis code enforcement officer known as the Grand Theater and instructed the proprietor and supervisor the venue’s conditional use allow can be “in jeopardy if they didn’t cancel the occasion.”
And not using a venue, the lawmakers as a substitute held a “peaceable protest in opposition to communism” outdoors Riverside Metropolis Corridor.
“These of us they tried to cancel our venues however they will by no means cancel our patriotism or our American spirit,” Gaetz stated in a video filmed outside Riverside City Hall. “They’ll hear us all all through Southern California.”