Sad! Judge rules Trump blocking Twitter users unconstitutional

Judge rules Trump can't block people from Twitter account

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, 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 Knight Institute and the individual Twitter users claimed in their lawsuit that by blocking users for their views, Mr Trump was shutting them out of discussion in a public forum, violating the First Amendment.

A spokesman for the US Department of Justice, which represents the president in the case, had no immediate comment.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's decision and are considering our next steps", a spokesperson said.

Buchwald agreed with the plaintiffs' contention that the discussions arising from Trump's tweets should be considered a public forum.

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The case was brought past year by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University after seven Twitter users were blocked by Trump. Likewise, consider a related issue under another First Amendment provision, the Establishment Clause-even Supreme Court justices who believe that the government may not endorse religion think that it's fine for government officials to express religious views in their speeches.

"Because no government official is above the law", Judge Buchwald concluded on Wednesday, "we must assume that the President and Scavino will remedy the blocking we have held to be unconstitutional".

President Donald Trump has made directing scorn on Twitter a defining feature of his presidency.

Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute's executive director, said the ruling broke some new ground for how the First Amendment is applied to digital space.

Buchwald boiled down the case to two simple questions: Can a public official block someone from seeing her or his Twitter feed given First Amendment protections of free speech?

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But through his Twitter bio and the way in which he frequently uses the medium to comment on public policy, Trump portrays his account as presidential "and, more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can be taken only by the President as President", Buchwald wrote. Trump has more than 50 million followers on his Twitter page.

The case could affect other social media interactions involving public officials.

Buchwald stopped short of accepting the request for an injunction against Trump and his social media aide, Dan Scavino, who was also named in the complaint, saying she expected the White House to abide by her "declaratory" ruling.

"As to the muting, I think that is an option", Fallow said at the time.

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