Trump’s blocking of Twitter critics unconstitutional: U.S. appeals court ,
U.S. President Donald Trump violated the Constitution by blocking people whose views he disliked from his Twitter
Account, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. “This debate, as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing,” he wrote.
In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the First Amendment forbids Trump from using Twitter’s “blocking” function to limit access to his account, which has 61.8 million followers.
The White House declined to comment. White House social media director Dan Scavino was also a defendant. Twitter <TWTR.N> declined to comment.
Trump has made his @RealDonaldTrump account, which he opened in 2009, a central and controversial part of his presidency, using it to promote his agenda and to attack critics.
His blocking of critics was challenged by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University,
“The decision will help ensure the integrity and vitality of digital spaces that are increasingly important to our democracy,” said Jameel Jaffer, Knight’s executive director. Tuesday’s decision upheld a May 2018 ruling by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan, which prompted Trump to unblock some accounts.
Parker, however, said Trump’s account bears “all the trappings of an official, state-run account” and is “one of the
White House’s main vehicles for conducting official business.” The Justice Department had called her ruling “fundamentally misconceived,” saying Trump used Twitter to express his views, “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.”