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Tue Jul 9, 2019, 04:07 PM

U.S. Appeals Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Followers

July 9, 20193:38 PM ET
VANESSA ROMO

A federal appeals court in Manhattan says President Trump cannot block critics from his Twitter account, calling it "unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination."

In a 29-page ruling on Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court's decision that found that Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked certain Twitter users, because he uses his Twitter account "to conduct official business and to interact with the public." By preventing critics from accessing his feed, the president is barring them from participating in what the judges deemed a public forum.

" First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees," the judges wrote.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University on behalf of seven people who were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account after posting replies criticizing the president and his policies. That meant the users could not view the president's tweets, reply directly to them or use the account's webpage to view the comment threads associated with Trump's tweets.

"Public officials' social media accounts are now among the most significant forums for discussion of government policy," Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute's executive director, who argued the case before the 2nd Circuit panel in March, said in a statement.

more...

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/09/739906562/u-s-appeals-court-rules-trump-violated-first-amendment-by-blocking-twitter-follo

11 replies, 268 views

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Reply U.S. Appeals Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Followers (Original post)
RCW2014 Jul 2019 OP
Gunslinger201 Jul 2019 #1
Independent.mind Jul 2019 #2
fools_gold Jul 2019 #5
Gunslinger201 Jul 2019 #7
msv Jul 2019 #9
fools_gold Jul 2019 #11
Lifelong Jul 2019 #3
msv Jul 2019 #4
Independent.mind Jul 2019 #6
msv Jul 2019 #8
Independent.mind Jul 2019 #10

Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 04:20 PM

1. Another nonsense ruling by Whacktivist Judges

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Response to Gunslinger201 (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 04:25 PM

2. Disagree, he uses his twitter as an official means of communication

" First Amendment does not permit a public official who utilizes a social media account for all manner of official purposes to exclude persons from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they expressed views with which the official disagrees,"

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Response to Independent.mind (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 04:36 PM

5. "Congress shall make no law ....."

How exactly is Trump making Congress make a law about his twitter account, which is the only way something can violate the First Amendment? How is Congress even involved in this?

Nonsensical decision by the court and it will be overturned en banc.

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Response to Independent.mind (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 05:05 PM

7. He is also a Citizen with the right of association

Or not

And his Twitter account is not Official Government Communications

So I’m right and you’re wrong

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Response to Gunslinger201 (Reply #7)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 05:11 PM

9. His tweets are part of his presidential records

The White House has said they are archiving his tweets after being requested to do so by the National Archives, conforming to the Presidential Records Act.

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Response to msv (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 06:17 PM

11. And that doesn't matter

"Congress shall make no law ...."

What law did Congress pass that empowers Trump to regulate his Twitter account the way he pleases?

Answer - They didn't pass a law to empower him to do that. He had the power already as a citizen and a customer of Twitter. Congress made no law restricting anyone's speech., so no violation of the First Amendment.

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 04:26 PM

3. More winning!

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Response to RCW2014 (Original post)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 04:30 PM

4. More good precedent to hammer Twitter et al for political bias/banning

If Trump or other officials can't "exclude persons from an otherwise open online dialogue" that they use social media for, then those platforms themselves must not be legally allowed to exclude people from that dialogue WITH Trump or other officials by banning them.

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Response to msv (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 04:43 PM

6. The platform itself is not owned or operated by the government

They have a right, just like the cake baker, to censor whoever they choose to.
The first amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Response to Independent.mind (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 05:05 PM

8. Not at all the same

The courts are ruling that when using these platforms, Trump and others are operating as public officials and you can't exclude people's access to them. And by banning people, Twitter is doing the exact same thing: barring citizens from access to their elected leaders' public dialogue. If a social media platform is going to host officials, then it has to let people access them. And, in the words of the court, not merely read them (anyone, even if they're blocked by Trump, can read his tweets by logging out) but participate in said dialogue. For the hosts to exclude people, particularly in bad faith, is going to wind up being a serious legal issue for them. And this case will be used in those arguments.

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Response to msv (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 9, 2019, 05:28 PM

10. The platform is not owned or run by the

Government and can ban people from using it
The courts are ruling that public officials cannot block people from their account if they are being used in an official capacity but that does not mean that the platform can’t ban people from using the platform.

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