New York federal judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that president Donald Trump is violating the Constitution when he blocks people on Twitter.
“We hold that portions of the @realDonaldTrump account — the ‘interactive space’ where Twitter users may directly engage with the content of the President’s tweets — are properly analyzed under the ‘public forum’ doctrines set forth by the Supreme Court, that such space is a designated public forum, and that the blocking of the plaintiffs based on their political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment,” Buchwald ruled.
The Justice Department defended Trump’s Twitter activity, contending that muting is within the president’s “associational freedoms.” He may be president, the DOJ argued, but Trump still maintains a right to decide who he spends time with on the social media platform.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders and former White House communications director Hope Hicks, both of whom were named in the suit, were dismissed as defendants.
A Justice Department spokeswoman said “We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are considering our next steps.”