U.S. federal judge rules that President Trump can not block people on Twitter

U.S. federal judge rules that President Trump can not block people on Twitter

"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 wrote in her ruling today.

New York-based Judge Naomi Reichert Buchwald called Trump's Twitter feed a "public forum", and held that blocking users "based on theory political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment".

However, the court ruled that the president is a public figure who has used his personal twitter account to make political announcements and that his feed is, indeed, a "public forum" and thus protected by the first amendment.

"We certainly hope that other public officials will take note of the ruling and will operate their social media accounts consistent with the First Amendment restrictions on their ability to silence critics", DeCell said.

The case was brought forward by seven Twitter users who have been blocked on Twitter by the U.S. President. On behalf of seven of them, The Knight Institute filed a lawsuit previous year claiming that Trump was distorting debate by preventing followers of his account from expressing their views. Muted users could still appear for others to see under Trump's tweets, however.

The Justice Department said in an emailed statement that it would fight the ruling.

There was no immediate response to the ruling from the White House.

Considering Trump's position as a public official, a federal judge on Thursday ruled that he can not legally block his followers on Twitter based on their political views. The judge agreed but said that even considering the president's First Amendment rights, preventing users from interacting directly with him on Twitter represented a violation of a "real, albeit narrow, slice of speech".

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Twitter Inc. was not involved to the lawsuit and declined to comment.

"Because of the way the President and his aides use the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, the account is a public forum under the First Amendment", the lawsuit states.

Judge Buchwald said she wouldn't order Mr. Trump and Mr. Scavino to change their behavior and didn't want to get into a separation of powers battle.

NY reports the Republican politician has blocked the likes of: law student Luke Waltham and lawyers Sylvia Onyejekwe and Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza.

Buchwald ruled that the tweets were "governmental in nature".

All Pres. Trump's many tweets come from his trusty iPhone, and he's not shy about blocking people who use this social network platform to respond to his comments.

"If Twitter exercised control over blocking, the finding of government control would be undermined", Eric Easton, the faculty director at the University of Baltimore's School of Law's LL.M. program, told Observer."It's not really a legal question, but a policy question for them on whether they do that".

"The President, like other public officials, routinely engages in conduct that is not state action, whether that might be giving a toast at a wedding or giving a speech at a fundraiser", the Justice Department wrote in a brief, according to The Washington Post.