Federal Judge Orders Trump To Stop Blocking Citizens

President Donald Trump.

The Hill reports on a win for transparency on social media that could have repercussions for politicos at all levels–a federal judge has declared that President Donald Trump cannot legally block critics on the Twitter social media platform:

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, said President Trump’s Twitter account is a public forum and blocking people who reply to his tweets with differing opinions constitutes viewpoint discrimination, which violates the First Amendment.

The court’s ruling is a major win for the Knight Foundation, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of seven people who were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account because of opinions they expressed in reply tweets.

Buchwald, who was appointed by former President Clinton, rejected Trump’s argument that the First Amendment does not apply in this case and that the president’s personal First Amendment interests supersede those of the plaintiffs.

The court found that the act of blocking a critic on Twitter simply for disagreeing could be harmful to First Amendment rights of the critic, since they are unable to respond to items posted by the President. Merely muting a user, while accomplishing the same goal of not forcing Donald Trump to personally lay eyes on criticism, preserves the ability of the “offending” user to respond in the same thread.

We would expect that most politicians who are active on the platform have some number of users who they have blocked–and some among those for reasons that wouldn’t reasonably rise above a viewpoint disagreement. If this precedent were to hold true for all public officials, it would mean a lot of Twitter blocks, by a lot of politicians, are unconstitutional.

And, well, that would be a big deal.

3 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Zappatero says:

    Is our congressional delegation doing anything newsworthy to earn their salaries or show voters they even exist?

  2. slavdude says:

    Who here thinks Twitler will comply with the judge's ruling?

    Anyone?

    Bueller?

    • Zappatero says:

      He will. 

      But even then, why is Joe User more active against Trump than our Representatives in DC? Dems need to get off their asses and fight this Administration tooth, nail, Twitter, filibuster, everyfuckingthing. They are pitiful and weak and *letting* Trump win by the minute, hour, and day. These morons’ wait-until-November strategy is pure impotence and we’ll be looking at Trump’s second inaugural by the time it resonates, if it ever does.

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