US District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled on Wednesday that President Donald Trump cannot block Twitter users from his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.
The federal judge found that Trump’s Twitter account is effectively a public forum and therefore he cannot block people from viewing it. Furthermore even though @realDonaldTrump is typically seen as the President’s personal Twitter account (in contrast with the official @POTUS account), the Court found that it was “governmental” because he has issued policy and personnel changes from it.
“This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States.”
“The answer to both questions is no.”
Kerri Kupec, a spokesperson for the Justice Department, said in a statement, “We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are considering our next steps.”
The Knight First Amendment Institute, alongside several Twitter users who had been blocked by the President, brought the lawsuit against President Trump and other administration officials.