Donald Trump is reportedly facing a lawsuit from a First Amendment group who believe he should not be blocking Twitter users and obstructing his critic’s free speech rights on the basis of their political views.
Seven people who were recently blocked by the president’s Twitter account, @RealDonaldTrump, are a part of the lawsuit filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute. There is no legal or constitutional precedent for a president who uses Twitter to relay opinions so freely, engage in feuds and block those who disagree or mock him.
“The idea that a public official could block citizens from hearing their official speech just because they don’t agree with what that person thinks is contrary to basic ideas of the First Amendment,” Katie Fallow, a senior fellow at the Knight Institute, told Newsweek last month. “It’s analogous to the public participation component of a town hall. Allowing people to get up and speak and discuss the issues with each other is such an important part of civic discourse. To block certain speakers just because they’re critical is dangerous and unconstitutional.”
The organization sent a letter to the commander-in-chief in June demanding that he unblock several users, setting the legal basis for a potential suit. Trump or anyone from the White House hasn’t not yet responded to that demand, so the institute formally filed suit on Tuesday.
When asked about the lawsuit by Newsweek, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders replied, “We don’t comment on ongoing litigation.” Any other attempts made for further explanation about the suit were ignored.
Is the president’s Twitter a public forum and therefore a place he has to hear the opinions of his constituents, a.k.a. the American people? Let us know in the comment section below.
Source: BET/Paul Meara
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