Trump appeals court ruling he can't block Twitter critics

07 June, 2018, 07:10 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • Win McNamee  Getty Images North America

President Trump will appeal a federal judge's ruling that his Twitter account is a public forum that he can not block users from accessing, the Justice Department said in a court filing late Monday.

"Notice is hereby given that defendants Donald J. Trump and Daniel Scavino, sued in their official capacities, hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit", the Justice Department said.

"It would send the First Amendment deep into uncharted waters to hold that a president's choices about whom to follow, and whom to block, on Twitter - a privately run website that, as a central feature of its social-media platform, enables all users to block particular individuals from viewing posts - violate the Constitution", Michael Baer wrote in August 2017.

The Justice Department argued that Trump operated the account in his personal capacity, so blocking people who irritated him did not implicate their constitutional rights.

Author Stephen King and model Chrissy Teigen are among those who have been blocked from Mr Trump's Twitter account.

In the court's ruling it was affirmed that the president's Twitter account is a public forum and therefore the general public deserves access.

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You read that right: A couple weeks back federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY, ruled in favor of seven plaintiffs seeking to have their Twitter accounts unblocked by the president. "If they have been blocked on the basis of their viewpoints, the White House should unblock them immediately", Katie Fallow, Knight Institute senior staff attorney, added in the statement.

Trump's Twitter should be taken as a public forum, the judge pinpointed in her 75-page justification.

The Justice Department didn't respond directly to a question about whether the unblocking would eventually extend to everyone. Or they can mute the person, which keeps the user from seeing that person's tweets and reply messages in their feed.

The plaintiffs include Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, and Brandon Neely, a Texas police officer.

"We whined. We complained". We won our First Amendment lawsuit in federal court.

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