Alex Stein, a far-right political commentator for TheBlazeTV, filed a lawsuit against Ms Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday claiming that she has violated his First Amendment rights by preventing him from following her on the social media platform.
He is asking a judge to order the Democratic congress member to immediately restore his access to her Twitter account.
“Mr Stein has a constitutional right to access Ms. Cortez’s Twitter account as part of vigorous public comment and criticism,” the suit claims.
“Ms Cortez’s practice of blocking Twitter users she disagrees with is unconstitutional and this suit seeks to redress that wrong.”
AOC blocked Mr Stein in July 2022 when the far-right provocateur harassed her while she walked up the steps of the US Capitol.
The lawmaker posted footage of the encounter on Twitter.
In it, Mr Stein is seen shouting lewd and derogatory comments about her appearance, calling her his “favourite big booty Latina”, and accusing her of wanting to “kill babies” – a reference to her pro-choice stance.
“See my favourite big booty Latina AOC! I love you AOC – you’re my favourite!” he shouts.
“She wants to kill babies, but she’s still beautiful. You look very beautiful in that dress. You look very sexy. Look at that big booty on AOC – that’s my favorite big booty Latina.”
AOC is seen beginning to walk toward him before she stops and throws the peace sign, before continuing up the stairs.
“Hot, hot, hot like a tamale!” Mr Stein continues to shout.
The New York congresswoman later spoke out about the incident telling reporters that the US Capitol “is not a place that is designed to protect women, it’s not a place designed to protect LGBT people”.
She also slammed the Capitol Police officers who failed to take any action while she was being sexually harassed before their eyes and voiced concerns that the “core security breakdowns” that unfolded on January 6 during the Capitol riot “have never been addressed”.
In the lawsuit, Mr Stein is claiming that he had “complimented” AOC when they “crossed paths in Washington DC”.
He claims that the lawmaker was initially “flattered” by his comments and “approached him and posed for a “selfie” with him while flashing a peace sign at Mr Stein’s camera”.
It was only when she realised that he doesn’t share her political views that she “posted angry tweets and videos about the incident” and blocked him from her account, he claims.
“Her retaliatory actions were premised on Mr Stein’s political satire of her, and his political opposition to Ms Cortez’s words, actions, and her support for the murder of unborn children,” the suit claims.
“Ms Cortez’s blocking of Mr Stein was viewpoint-based. If Mr Stein was a supporter of Ms Cortez, Ms Cortez would not have blocked him.”
The suit points to a 2018 lawsuit where a judge ruled that Donald Trump had violated the First Amendment by blocking critics on his personal @realdonaldtrump Twitter account.
The ruling stated that personal accounts “can turn into a governmental one if it becomes an organ of official business” and that the then-president was using his in an official capacity.
At the time, AOC was also being sued by former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind after she blocked him from her Twitter account.
After that ruling, AOC settled the lawsuit and issued an apology.
However, in a separate – but similar – 2021 lawsuit, a judge sided with a Missouri state legislator saying that she did not violate the First Amendment when she blocked a constituent over their Twitter reply.
That ruling found that accounts run by government officials can still be considered personal.
The account in question in Mr Stein’s lawsuit is the congresswoman’s personal @AOC account – not the @RepAOC account she established after being elected to Congress.
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