A group of Twitter users is suing Trump for blocking them

Geneva Matthews
July 12, 2017

First Amendment advocates are suing President Donald Trump, saying some of his critics have been unconstitutionally blocked from following him on Twitter.

"President Trump's Twitter account has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important forum for speech by, to, or about the president", said Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute's executive director, in the release.

The seven individuals involved in the lawsuit are not the only people blocked by Trump but they all have in common that they dislike Trump and, at some point, tweeted a response that offended him. "This practice is unconstitutional, and this suit seeks to end it".

The lawsuit, filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of NY, argues that because Trump's tweets are considered official statements, the blocking of the plaintiffs infringes their First Amendment rights.

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

They included arguments that Mr. Trump was imposing an unconstitutional restriction on the plaintiffs' ability to participate in a designated public forum, get access to statements the government had otherwise made available to the public and petition the government for "redress of grievances".

"Because of the way the President and his aides use the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, the account is a public forum under the First Amendment", the complaint claims.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

We've reached out to the White House for comment. "The President's advisors have stated that tweets from @realDonaldTrump are 'official statements, ' and they have been treated as such by politicians, world leaders, the National Archive and Records Administration, and federal courts", the complaint argues. Those blocked by Trump can still see his tweets if they do not log in to the site using the accounts that the president has blocked.

The seven plaintiff's are just a few of the people Trump has blocked so far.

His pinned tweet shows Trump blocking the advocacy group VoteVets, with the message: "Looks like he is blocking all veterans". All the plaintiffs allege they were blocked for tweeting messages that disagreed with the president and his policies.

The others included in the lawsuit Tuesday are Rebecca Buckwalter of Washington, D.C.; Philip Cohen of Silver Spring, Md.; Eugene Gu of Nashville, Tenn.; Brandon Neely of Tomball, Texas; and Nicholas Pappas of New York City.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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