Federal Court Rules President Trump Can't Block Critics On Twitter
By Bill Galluccio
July 9, 2019
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that President Donald Trump is not allowed to block people who criticize him on Twitter. The three-judge panel upheld a decision by a lower court, which found that the president violates the First Amendment when he blocks his critics on Twitter.
The case was brought by Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University on behalf of seven individuals who were blocked by Trump after they sent tweets criticizing his policies. Once the users were blocked, they were unable to view the president's Twitter feed or respond to his tweets.
The court found that public officials who use social media for "all manner of official purposes" are not allowed to block people because it would prevent them from engaging in open dialogue with those officials.
"In resolving this appeal, we remind the litigants and the public that if the First Amendment means anything, it means that the best response to disfavored speech on matters of public concern is more speech, not less," Circuit Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote.
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