Trump unblocks more Twitter users after court order
President Trump has unblocked more Twitter users from his account, following a federal court’s ruling earlier this year that blocking users violates the First Amendment.
In May, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled the president was violating the constitutional rights of Americans by blocking them and thus, making them unable to see the president’s tweets. The lawsuit was filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute on behalf of seven people who had been blocked by the president. The seven plaintiffs in the case were unblocked in June, and the Knight First Amendment Institute said it has now received reports that up to 41 other names it pointed out to the DOJ have also been unblocked.
“We’re pleased to see the White House take steps to comply with the district court’s ruling that the First Amendment prohibits the president from blocking Twitter users simply because they have criticized him,” Katie Fallow, senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, said in a statement. “Last month, we identified to the Department of Justice 41 Twitter users who were blocked by the president on the basis of their viewpoints, and we’ve received reports that many of these individuals have subsequently been unblocked.”
“However, we continue to receive reports that individuals beyond those we identified remain blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account,” she continued. “If these individuals were blocked on the basis of their viewpoints, it’s incumbent on the White House to unblock them immediately.”
Fallow said they would keep working with the Justice Department to make sure the White House restores access “to all individuals who were blocked on the basis of their viewpoints,” and look forward to defending the district court’s ruling in the appeals court.
The White House has said repeatedly that the president’s tweets are official statements of the president, and Mr. Trump often makes major policy and personnel announcements via Twitter. The president has announced firings and resignations of top officials in his administration via Twitter. The president has 54 million Twitter followers.
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