Like a lot of people, the President has taken to blocking people who criticise him - but he's going to have to unblock them after a judge ruled he is violating the First Amendment.
President Trump can not block people from his Twitter account, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying the account became a public forum once he started using it for government business and is now protected by the First Amendment. His bio also includes the hashtag #BlockedByTrump. But, as President, Trump frequently uses it to make official announcements. Neely replied, "Congrats and now black lung won't be covered under #TrumpCare". The blockages suppress free speech by limiting users' ability to view his tweets and comment on them, the group said in a previous letter seeking to be reinstated as followers of Trump on Twitter. "Gave me full details!" Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
"We hope that the White House will simply implement the court's order", Knight First Amendment Institute spokeswoman Ujala Sehgal said.
Last July, the Knight First Amendment Institute filed a lawsuit against Trump claiming as much.
The Department of Justice has characterized Trump's tweets as public statements.
Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law at UC Berkeley, agrees.
"We do not suggest that the impact on the individual plaintiffs ... is of the highest magnitude", Buchwald's ruling reads.
The feature prevents selected accounts from appearing in a user's Twitter mentions - effectively blocking them from Trump's view.
The Justice Department, which defended Mr. Trump in the case, said it disagreed with the decision and was considering its next steps.
Cohen said Trump had not yet unblocked him as of late Wednesday afternoon.
"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. Or, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation explained on Twitter in December 2017, "whether through an official or personal account, if a platform is being used to conduct the government's business, the account is subject to the First Amendment".
Eugene Volokh, a University of California Los Angeles School of Law professor who specializes in First Amendment issues, said the decision's effect would reach beyond Trump. No harm is done to either party by the president choosing not to respond, and so he is free to do so. Those who'd been blocked were blocked after posting comments critical of Trump, an important consideration in her decision.
Twitter is a social media platform with more than 300 million active users worldwide, including some 70 million in the United States. Muted users could still appear for others to see under Trump's tweets, however.
Also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit is Daniel Scavino, the White House social media director.
With their suit, the plaintiffs sought both declaratory relief and injunctive relief-basically, for the court to say Trump can't block people and also to demand action upholding that opinion. Scavino and Trump remain as defendants on the case.