President Donald Trump is facing a lawsuit from First Amendment advocates over claims that he has unconstitutionally blocked some of his critics from his POTUS twitter account. The case was filed Tuesday in a New York City court by the Knight First Amendment Institute, which represents seven Twitter users who claim to have been blocked by the president.
The institute, based at Columbia University, requested for the court to call the president’s “viewpoint-based blocking” unconstitutional and to unblock the plaintiffs on Twitter and pay their legal fees. The formal complaint states the president’s ability to block users with dissenting views “imposes an unconstitutional restriction on their participation in a designated public forum.”
“The First Amendment applies to this digital forum in the same way it applies to town halls and open school board meetings,” Knight Institute executive director Jameel Jaffer told Bloomberg.
“The White House acts unlawfully when it excludes people from this forum simply because they’ve disagreed with the president.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer has said previously that the president’s tweets were official statements. In a letter sent to the president, his social media director, press secretary and counsel, the institute had warned it may seek an injunction, according to a previous report from Bloomberg.