US Court Rules Trump Cannot Silence Critics on Twitter
Jul 10 2019
The appeals court rejected an assertion from Trump's attorneys that his account is private, noting that it is a source of information that is in the public interest and must be kept open to all users.
Another 30 or so remain blocked, in part because the Justice Department has required them to cite the tweet that caused blockage, she said. By blocking people from Twitter, Trump is stopping them from seeing matters of government.
Beyond a public slap for the petulant president and a brief ha-ha moment enjoyed at his expense, the case is a "high-profile legal test" for how government is conducted in the digital age, according to The Washington Post.
"The Founding Fathers didn't foresee Twitter, but they certainly provided a framework to make sure we could always engage with the people who purport to represent us", Figueroa said.
Elected officials throughout the country are also learning to navigate how those principles apply to their social media accounts.
Trump, who has rolled back multiple Obama-era regulations to combat climate change, said the previous administration sacrificed U.S.jobs in pursuit of environmental protection. A federal judge ruled in their favor in May 2018 saying Trump and plaintiffs engaged in "unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination" by limiting certain users' access to his social media account because he disagreed with their speech.
"We conclude that the evidence of the official nature of the Account is overwhelming", the opinion states.
Parker also wrote that public debate, "as uncomfortable and as unpleasant as it frequently may be, is nonetheless a good thing".
Justice Department spokesman Kelly Laco said the agency is "disappointed with the ruling and is "exploring possible next steps". But the plaintiffs argued that the block made it hard to comment on or share the president's messages, cutting them out of the public discussion. A president's residence - or social media account - does not become government property when the president conducts government business there.
Asked why the President chose to hold the remarks and whether the Democrats' Green New Deal would be brought up during remarks, Neumayr said it was discussed when Trump spoke to his advisers about his administration's environmental actions.
Whether there will be more appeals by the Trump Administration, possibly even to the Supreme Court, is unknown at this time.