May 24, 2018
A liberal federal judge’s ruling against President Donald Trump in favor of liberal Twitter trolls could be a major win for right-wingers who’ve been censored and banned from social media.
President Trump can’t block Twitter users from viewing his prolific feed, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
Manhattan Federal Court Judge Naomi Buchwald ruled that Trump’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, is a “designated public forum” and protected by the First Amendment.
But the judge stopped short of ordering Trump to unblock his critics, saying she did not want to “enter that legal thicket.”
[…]The first-of-its-kind suit, filed last July by a group of Trump critics blocked from reading his tweets, claimed that the President was violating the First Amendment by taking such action because they expressed views he didn’t like.
“The @realDonaldTrump account is a kind of digital town hall in which the president and his aides use the tweet function to communicate news and information to the public, and members of the public use the reply function to respond to the president and his aides and exchange views with one another,” the lawsuit said.
Justice Department lawyers countered that Trump was within his rights to block certain people in the same way he can ignore certain people in a crowd.
But Buchwald rejected that argument, saying the President’s Twitter feed amounted to a public forum and he can’t cut off those with divergent views.
“The viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by the First Amendment,” wrote Buchwald, who was appointed by President Clinton.