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Breaking down the first amendment lawsuit against Florida State Representative Spencer Roach

Breaking down the first amendment lawsuit against Florida State Representative Spencer Roach
Posted at 10:52 PM, Jan 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-15 23:20:19-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Tonight we are learning more about the lawsuit against State Representative Spencer Roach who is being sued by a civilian for blocking him on Facebook.

“Anyone can sue anybody for anything. Question is, whether or not they will win,” said Pamella Seay, FGCU criminal justice professor.

Randy Scott believes he will. Scott is suing State Representative Spencer Roach for blocking him on his public Facebook page. Saying he sees Roach not wanting to engage in public discourse.

“That is representative Roach having a disdain for public discourse that is critical of him and his other people in Lee County who want to just have a free ride at public discourse,” said Scott.

However, FGCU criminal justice professor Pamella Seay says this is not a public figure's account, but one for a candidate for public office so the limitations are different.

“The key when you're looking at one of these social media accounts is whether or not it is a public forum, as he is using this particular account it is not a public forum. So yes he does have the right to block someone from that account,” said Seay.

State Representative Spencer Roach emphasizes this is not an official government page.

“That page is a campaign page, it is a promotional page, its an advertisement page that is paid for with funds in my campaign account. It is not an official government page,” said Roach.

Roach says he welcomes criticism but claims Scott has personally threatened him and he will not tolerate it.

“You know we welcome criticism and defense and especially policy debate on my campaign Facebook page ,but once you make a threat to kill me I think that kind of crosses the line and that’s not something I am going to tolerate on that page."

Roach says the fight is not over.

“ I look forward to vigorously defending any lawsuit this or any others that attempts to harass me or my staff,” said Roach.