A uniquely 21 st-century constitutional issue received a satisfying answer today from a federal magistrate: President Trump cannot block people on Twitter, as it constitutes a violation of their First Amendment rights. The court also ruled he must unblock all previously blocked users.” No government official is above the law ,” the judge concluded.
The question was an aspect of a suit brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute, which alleged that the official presidential Twitter feed amounts to a public forum, and that the governmental forces barring individuals from participating in it amounted to limiting their right to free speech.
After consideration, New York Southern District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald determined that this is indeed the case 😛 TAGEND
We hold that portions of the @realDonaldTrump account — the “interactive space” where Twitter users may immediately engage with the content of the President’s tweets — are properly investigated for the purposes of the “public forum” doctrines set forth by the Supreme court, that such space is a designated public forum, and that the obstruct of the plaintiffs based on their political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment.
The president’s side was contended that Trump has his own rights, and that in this case the choice not to engage with certain people on Twitter is among them. These are both true, Judge Buchwald find, but that doesn’t mean blocking is okay.
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