There are few things in life that Donald Trump regards as more precious than his Twitter account, and he’s definitely having a major breakdown now that a federal judge is going after it.
Thanks to Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, the White House is being forced to clarify whether or not Trump’s personal Twitter account (which he has been using to make “official” presidential statements all throughout his presidency) should be subject to the First Amendment.
“At oral argument, the government stated that the blocking of Twitter users on the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts would ‘likely would run afoul of the First Amendment but not because of public forum doctrine’ and that ‘it is probably true that government cannot block individuals purely on the basis of viewpoint from a government account like the @POTUS account.'”
Trump has become infamous for blocking other Twitter users who disagree with or insult him and he is now involved in a lawsuit for this behavior. Buchwald is asking the White House to take a position on Trump’s account because the First Amendment would prohibit blocking Twitter users who respond to government accounts. Buchwald states, “We neglected, however, to address the impact of this position on…whether such blocking may occur on the @RealDonaldTrump account.”
“If the government continues to take the position that users may not be blocked from the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts, it should explain all of the ways in which the First Amendment analysis differs for those two accounts on the one hand and the @RealDonaldTrump account on the other.”
These orders are in response to a civil liberties lawsuit involving several Twitter users that have been blocked by the thin-skinned president. The plaintiffs have stated that Trump’s blocks are unconstitutional because they implicate the First Amendment’s “public forum” doctrine.
The White House must respond by March 28th, and the proceedings of this case could change Trump’s Twitter behavior in a way he won’t be happy with.
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