Judge: Trump Blocking Twitter Accounts Violates 1st Amendment

US federal court says'NO to President Donald Trump

Judge: Trump Blocking Twitter Accounts Violates 1st Amendment

The decision rejected arguments from the president's team that President Trump's own First Amendment rights would be violated if he could not block users. "N$3 o government official - including the President - is above the law", she wrote, "and all government officials are presumed to follow the law as has been declared".

A federal judge on Wednesday ruled that it is unconstitutional for President Donald Trump to block people from his Twitter account, and ordered him to unblock those he has prevented from seeing his tweets.

The government had argued that blocked individuals could still access the president's tweets. However, by late Wednesday afternoon, Cohen said he remained unable to view Trump's tweets.

"The president's practice of blocking critics on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional, and we hope this ruling will bring it to an end", he said. Neely replied: "Congrats and now black lung won't be covered under #TrumpCare".

The tweet received 307 likes and 35 retweets.

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Ken Paulson, president of the Freedom Forum Institute's First Amendment Center, said he was surprised by the ruling.

On Wednesday the judge agreed with their argument that the social media platform qualifies as a "designated public forum" granted to all US citizens. With over 50 million followers, Trump is the world's most followed world leader.

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?

Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor, said he thinks the case was wrongly decided and expects it to be reversed.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which filed the lawsuit for the seven Twitter users Trump blocked, had argued that such blocking was a way to turn a public forum into an echo chamber of positive sentiment and that blocking was a seeing Twitter being "sanitised of dissent". She said she assumed Trump's social media director Dan Scavino would unblock the users in light of her decision.

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Giampietro thinks the "thorny" issue is how to proceed if Trump decides not to abide by the ruling. According to their lawsuit, because Mr Trump frequently turns to Twitter to make policy statements, his account qualifies as a public forum from which the government can not exclude people on the basis of their views.

"The books are full of officials trying to exclude people they don't like from meetings or from getting documents", he said.

"Governmental officials and agencies, big and small, at all levels of government, are using social media to speak to the public and allow the public to speak to them and each other".

There have been other legal cases involving public officials and their social media activity.

"We then proceed to the substance of plaintiffs' First Amendment claims".

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