The Knight First Amendment at Columbia University had filed suit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of seven people who "were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account after criticizing the President," according to Knight.
Knight said that the President and his communications staffers had violated the First Amendment by blocking them because they had criticized him or his policies.
They said the President's account was a public forum and the government could not exclude people just because of their views. Knight also argued Trump was violating their right, also under the First Amendment, to petition the government for redress of grievances.
According to various reports, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald agreed that Twitter is a public forum, so blocking users based on political speech was unconstitutional, rejecting the White House's assertion that the First Amendment was not applicable.
At press time the decision was not on the court website's rulings of special interest page, though there was obviously a lot of interest in it.
The judge reportedly did not enjoin the President from blocking critics, or provide injunctive relief, leaving it at the determination that the law prevented such blocking and that the President was not above the law.
Broadcasting & Cable Newsletter
The smarter way to stay on top of broadcasting and cable industry. Sign up below.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Thank you for signing up to Broadcasting & Cable. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.