Lawsuit Claims Trump Can't Block Critics From Following Him on Twitter


A federal lawsuit was filed yesterday (July 11th) that charges it's unconstitutional for President Trump to block critics from following him on Twitter. The suit was filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute and cites seven people who were blocked by Trump after criticizing him on his personal @realdonaldtrump Twitter account, which has 33 million followers, 14 million more than the official @POTUS account. One person, for instance, was blocked after posting on Trump's Twitter feed, "You didn't win the WH: Russia won it for you," another person was blocked after posting that Trump is a "corrupt, incompetent authoritarian, and yet another for posting an image of Pope Francis looking incredulously at Trump along with the statement: "This is pretty much how the whole world sees you." The lawsuit charges that blocking critics from Trump's account is an unconstitutional viewpoint-based restriction. It notes that Trump recently tweeted, "My use of social media is not Presidential -- it's MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL," that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said a month ago that Trump's tweets should be understood as official statements of the president, and that the National Archives has advised the White House that Trump's tweets must be preserved under the Federal Records Act. A federal judge in Washington, D.C., recently ruled that a local official's Facebook account was a public forum under the First Amendment, but higher courts haven't addressed the issue.

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