President Donald Trump violates the first amendment to the US Constitution when he blocks his critics on Twitter because of their political speech, a judge said Wednesday.
Naomi Reice Buchwald, District Judge in Manhattan, however, did not go so far as to order Mr. Trump or a subordinate to stop preventing critics from seeing his Twitter account, pointing out that it was sufficient to point out that it was unconstitutional to continue doing so.
Judge Buchwald writes that “a declaratory judgment should be sufficient because no government official – including the president – is above the law, and all government officials are expected to follow the law as it stands. has been declared.”
The complaint was filed last July by the Knight First Amendment Institute of Columbia University and seven people were blocked by Trump after criticizing the Republican president.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a message. A government lawyer did not respond to a request for comments by email.
Jameel Jaffer, chief executive of the Knight Institute, said in a statement that his organization was satisfied.
The president’s practice of blocking criticism on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional, and we hope this decision will put an end to this situation.
Jameel Jaffer, Executive Director of the Knight Institute
The lawsuit was filed after Trump blocked some people from his @realDonaldTrump account, created nine years ago with more than 52 million subscribers.
Department of Justice lawyers had argued that it was Mr. Trump’s prerogative, and that it was as if the president, in a room full of people, decided not to listen to some of them.
Judge Buchwald found that Twitter posts are sent to a public forum.
“The president presents the @realDonaldTrump account as a presidential account as opposed to a personal account, and more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can only be taken by the president, as president,” said the president. judge.
After a hearing earlier this year, the judge had suggested to Mr. Trump to stop some of his critics from responding to him rather than blocking them. At the time, a justice department attorney agreed that this would allow Mr. Trump to avoid a message he does not want to read.
Melissa Wright is a seasoned journalist with nearly a decade under her belt. While studying journalism at Boston, Melissa found a passion for finding local stories. As a contributor to Clear Publicist, Melissa mostly covers human interest pieces.