Friday, 22 June, 2018

Trump Can't Block His Critics On Twitter, Judge Rules

Mr Trump’s use of Twitter has been unprecedented- prompting constitutional scholars to consider his social media output Mr Trump’s use of Twitter has been unprecedented- prompting constitutional scholars to consider his social media output Evan Vucci AP
Charlie Simmons | 25 May, 2018, 23:16

"It would end up applying to a wide range of government officials throughout the country", he said.

The Justice Department defended Trump's Twitter activity, contending that muting is within the president's "associational freedoms".

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-In in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, in Washington.

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed the lawsuit in July 2017.

A third, Eugene Gu, posted a copy of the tweet that got him blocked in the first place, and he demanded that the president unblock him immediately.

Plaintiff Philip Cohen, a sociology professor, said he was "delighted" with the judge's ruling, adding "this increases my faith in the system a little".

The Knight Institute said it was lodging an appeal in the case of a Virginia resident blocked on Facebook by a local public official.

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"While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the president's personal First Amendment rights, he can not exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him", she wrote.

"While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the president's personal First Amendment rights, he can not exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him", Buchwald said. 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.

On Wednesday the judge agreed with their argument that the social media platform qualifies as a "designated public forum" granted to all USA citizens. He said he thought such a designation would require a more explicit statement to that effect by the government. To do so, District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said, would be a violation of the right to free speech.

"The position the Trump administration is taking is that the president is entitled to block people, and that the court lacks the ability to order him to do otherwise", Mr. Jaffer said.

It is unclear if Trump would unblock those he had blocked and the judge did not explicitly rule on that.

That is, the President presents the @realDonaldTrump account as being a presidential account as opposed to a personal account and, more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can be taken only by the President as President.

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