Not only is Donald Trump the first American president to aggressively use Twitter, he’s also the first to invite a possible constitutional crisis because of it.
In the question of whether Trump can legally block people from seeing and commenting on his account, a judge now has a possible solution.
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Ever since Trump assumed the presidency, there have been legal questions around whether it is OK for him to block users from viewing his Twitter account. He is the president, after all, and his tweets are largely accepted to be official statements from the White House. To deny citizens the option of seeing them would potentially a violation of their rights.
That’s the view from the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and seven people blocked by Trump, who brought a lawsuit against Trump in a New York district court for this very thing.
According to the AP, Manhattan federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald proposed an actionable settlement between the plaintiffs and the president: what if he just mutes them instead of blocking them?
The suit was brought after First Amendment lawyers sent a letter to the White House social media and communications teams last summer, demanding that the president unblock the users. The Trump administration contends that his Twitter account is a personal platform and not a public one.
Buchwald told Trump’s lawyers that if they didn’t agree to this settlement, they might establish a new law that wouldn’t make Trump very happy.
We wait with bated breath to see if these seven people will be allowed back into the tumultuous hellscape that is our president’s social media.