Twitter Users Blocked By @realDonaldTrump Have Filed A Lawsuit Against Him

Posted July 12, 2017

Since Twitter users who have been blocked can not read or respond to Trump's tweets, the suit argues, blocking users for their political beliefs "imposes a viewpoint-based restriction on. participation in a public forum" and violates the first amendment.

Holly Figueroa of Washington state (@AynRandPaulRyan), whose Twitter account identifies her as a March for Truth organizer, said she was blocked on May 23 after posting a GIF of Pope Francis looking and frowning at Trump captioned "this is pretty much how the whole world sees you". It seeks a declaration that Mr. Trump's blocking of the plaintiffs was unconstitutional, an injunction requiring him to unblock them and prohibiting him from blocking others for the views they express, and legal fees.

The Knight Institute sent a letter to the White House last month threatening legal action if it didn't heed its call to unblock followers.

Also named in the suit were the president's press secretary, Sean Spicer, and social media director Daniel Scavino.

Suit claims Trump violates the First Amendment... The action seeks to restore blocked Twitter users' access to Trump's statements.

The lawsuit filed on Tuesday argues that Trump's Twitter account infringes on First Amendment rights because it is a public forum that Trump, a government official, can not restrict people from viewing because he disagrees with their views, according to the Times. In an effort to suppress dissent in this forum, Defendants have excluded-"blocked"-Twitter users who have criticized the President or his policies". Tuesday's lawsuit represents seven such Twitter users.

The suit also pointed out the National Archives and Records Administration advised the White House that tweets using @realDonaldTrump, like the tweets from @POTUS, are considered officials statements which are preserved under the Presidential Records Act.

The seven plaintiff's are just a few of the people Trump has blocked so far. Gu's tweet was retweeted hundreds of times, according to the filed complaint; about two hours later Gu saw that his account, @eugenegu, had been blocked. During oral arguments, Justice Elena Kagan cited Trump's tweets as an example of newsworthy information. These plaintiffs operate verified Twitter accounts that have been blocked by @realDonaldTrump, meaning they are no longer able to reply to tweets by @realDonaldTrump and face difficulty in viewing or participating in discussion threads involving those tweets. "It imposes an unconstitutional restriction on their right to access statements. available to the public at large".