President Trump can no longer block Twitter users who are mean to him
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said in her ruling that the president is violating the U.S. Constitution.
A federal judge in New York City has ruled that President Donald Trump cannot block users on his Twitter feed. Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said in her ruling that the president is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing certain Americans from viewing his tweets, according to CNBC.
Calling Twitter a “designated public forum,” Buchwald ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed last July by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. In the lawsuit, seven plaintiffs said they were blocked by Trump on Twitter.
In her ruling, the judge explained:
This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States.
The answer to both questions is no.
The White House hasn’t commented on today’s ruling.
President Donald Trump has more than 52.2 million Twitter followers and has tweeted more than 37,600 times since signing up for Twitter in March 2009, according to CNBC. Earlier this week, Politico reported the president wasn’t following protocol when posting to Twitter from his phones.
Here’s the entire order:
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: granting in part and denying in part 34 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting in part and denying in part 42 Motion for Summary Judgment. We conclude that we have jurisdiction to entertain this dispute. Plaintiffs have established legal injuries that are traceable to the conduct of the President and Daniel Scavino and, despite defendants’ suggestions to the contrary, their injuries are redressable by a favorable judicial declaration. Plaintiffs lack standing, however, to sue Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is dismissed as a defendant. Hope Hicks is also dismissed as a defendant, in light of her resignation as White House Communications Director. Turning to the merits of plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, we hold that the speech in which they seek to engage is protected by the First Amendment and that the President and Scavino exert governmental control over certain aspects of the @realDonaldTrump account, including the interactive space of the tweets sent from the account. That interactive space is susceptible to analysis under the Supreme Court’s forum doctrines, and is properly characterized as a designated public forum. The viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by the First Amendment and cannot be justified by the President’s personal First Amendment interests. In sum, defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part, and plaintiffs’ cross-motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part. The Clerk of the Court is directed to terminate the motions pending at docket entries 34 and 42. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on 5/23/2018) (ama) (Entered: 05/23/2018)
For more news on the 45th president of the United States, see how Trump wants to bring jobs back to Chinese telecom ZTE.
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