Twitter users sue Donald Trump for excluding them
DONALD TRUMP has faced an impressive array of lawsuits in his first half-year as president; July 11th brought him one more. Knight First Amendment Institute et al v Donald Trump, Sean Spicer and Daniel Scavino challenges the 45th president’s habit of blocking Twitter users whose 140-character critiques are too biting, or too popular. Seven former followers of Mr Trump’s main Twitter account, @realdonaldtrump, joined a research institute at Columbia University to argue that the president’s actions violate their freedom of speech under the First Amendment. The proper remedy, the plaintiffs say, is to order Mr Trump to welcome them back into his flock—and to refrain from blocking more users whose ideas he dislikes.
The case turns, in part, on whether Mr Trump’s Twitter feed is a “public forum”. If it is, the Supreme Court’s First Amendment doctrine barring “viewpoint discrimination” would come into play. This is a speech-protective principle: unless the government can show a compelling reason for…Continue reading