Court to Trump: Blocking Twitter critics is unconstitutional

National News

President Donald Trump lost a major Twitter fight Tuesday when a federal appeals court said that his daily musings and pronouncements were overwhelmingly official in nature and that he violated the First Amendment whenever he blocked a critic to silence a viewpoint.

The effect of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision is likely to reverberate throughout politics after the Manhattan court warned that any elected official using a social media account “for all manner of official purposes” and then excluding critics violates free speech.

“The government is not permitted to ‘amplify’ favored speech by banning or burdening viewpoints with which it disagrees,” the appeals court said.

Because it involved Trump, the ruling is getting more attention than a January decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found a Virginia politician violated the First Amendment rights of one of her constituents by blocking him from a Facebook page.

Still, the appeals court in New York acknowledged, not every social media account operated by a public official is a government account, and First Amendment violations must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

“The irony in all of this is that we write at a time in the history of this nation when the conduct of our government and its officials is subject to wide-open, robust debate,” Circuit Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel.

The debate generates a “level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen,” the court’s decision read.

“This debate, as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing,” the 2nd Circuit added. “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.”

The Department of Justice is disappointed by the ruling and is exploring possible next steps, agency spokesperson Kelly Laco said.

Related listings

  • Nissan ex-chair Ghosn appeal on extended detention rejected

    Nissan ex-chair Ghosn appeal on extended detention rejected

    National News 04/14/2019

    Japan's top court said Thursday it has rejected an appeal by former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn's lawyers against his extended detention after his fourth arrest on allegations of financial misconduct.The decision upholds the extension of his detenti...

  • High court lets military implement transgender restrictions

    High court lets military implement transgender restrictions

    National News 01/22/2019

    The Trump administration can go ahead with its plan to restrict military service by transgender men and women while court challenges continue, the Supreme Court said Tuesday. The high court split 5-4 in allowing the plan to take effect, with the...

  • Freed by court, Pakistani Christian woman still a prisoner

    Freed by court, Pakistani Christian woman still a prisoner

    National News 01/14/2019

    Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian acquitted of blasphemy, still lives the life of a prisoner, nearly three months after her release from death row, awaiting a final ruling on her fate.She spends her days in seclusion for fear of being targeted by ang...

Business News

Eugene Consumer Bankruptcy Law Attorney Since 2005, Erin Uhlemann has helped individuals facing financial difficulties file for bankruptcy relief. >> read
Houston, Texas Personal Injury Lawyers Our attorneys have over 35 years of experience representing individuals who have been injured. >> read