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A federal judge has decided that Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene can continue with their lawsuit against two California cities that canceled their political gatherings. US District Judge Hernán Vera ruled on Friday, allowing the legal challenge to advance. The lawsuit argues that the actions of the cities constituted discrimination based on the lawmakers’ political ideologies.

Gaetz and Greene, known for their roles within the House Republican Conference, were set to headline “Put America First” rallies in 2021. However, their plans were thwarted when venues in Laguna Hills, Riverside, and Anaheim withdrew their commitments due to concerns about the events’ potentially divisive nature. In response, the pair organized a “Free Speech Peaceful Protest” in front of Riverside City Hall, attracting a crowd of over 100 supporters.

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The legal action specifically targets the City of Riverside’s attempt to dismiss the case. Judge Vera’s ruling noted that Gaetz and Greene have “sufficiently alleged” a case where Riverside may have overstepped its policymaking authority. Despite this advancement, Vera criticized the plaintiffs’ attempt to implicate civil rights organizations in their complaint as a “misguided effort to settle political scores.”

Several advocacy groups, including the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, have been named alongside the cities as co-defendants in the lawsuit.


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