A US court has ruled that US President Donald Trump cannot block anyone from his Twitter handle, @RealDonaldTrump, saying it is a “designated public forum” open to all Americans and that blocking users will violate their first amendment rights to freedom of speech.
The case against President Trump was instituted by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and seven individuals he blocked after they criticised him.
“In sum, we conclude that the blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment,” district judge, Naomi Reice Buchwald, wrote in the 75-page ruling.
“While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the President’s personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him.”
The lawsuit filed last year also named White House social media director Daniel Scavino among the defendants.
“Because no government official is above the law and because all government officials are presumed to follow the law once the judiciary has said what the law is, we must assume that the President and Scavino will remedy the blocking we have held to be unconstitutional,” Buchwald added.
Trump, who has over 52 million Twitter followers, is known for blocking popular users he is not comfortable with. He has so far blocked celebrities like Stephen King, Rosie O’Donnell and Chrissy Teigen.