President Donald Trump unblocked dozens of Twitter accounts Tuesday after a federal judge ruled that it was unconstitutional, saying it violated users’ free speech.
The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University sent the Department of Justice a list of 41 accounts — which is not meant to be a comprehensive list — that had remained blocked from Trump’s active @RealDonaldTrump account Aug. 10, Reuters reports.
The seven Twitter users who filed the suit had their accounts unblocked in June, according to Huffington Post. At least 20 of the 41 Twitter accounts blocked by Trump tweeted that he had unblocked them Tuesday, reported Reuters.
I’ve just been unblocked from @realDonaldTrump…
One year. Three months.
I’m back, baby! https://t.co/Fe4oy6iFut
— Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) August 28, 2018
Thank you to the Knight Foundation for legally forcing @realDonaldTrump to take out his sticky little phone, scrunch his nose, open Twitter, search my name, shout “Do I seriously have to fucking do this,” be told yes by Dan Scavino, take a deep breath, and click “Unblock.”
— Bess Kalb (@bessbell) August 29, 2018
U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled on May 23 that Twitter is a “public forum” and that blocking the plaintiffs violates their First Amendment rights, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported. (RELATED: Trump Slams Social Media Giants For ‘Silencing Millions Of People’)
“We hold that portions of the @realDonaldTrump account — the ‘interactive space’ where Twitter users may directly engage with the content of the President’s tweets — are properly analyzed under the ‘public forum’ doctrines set forth by the Supreme Court, that such space is a designated public forum, and that the blocking of the plaintiffs based on their political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment,” the decision read.
The Department of Justice said the ruling was “fundamentally misconceived.” The department argued that Trump’s personal account “belongs to Donald Trump in his personal capacity and is subject to his personal control, not the control of the government.”
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