A group of Twitter
users blocked by President Donald Trump
have sued him, arguing that his account amounts to a public forum and as a government official, he cannot bar people from.
The blocked Twitter
users, represented by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, filed suit against Trump, White House
Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Dan Scavino -- the White House
Director of social media on Tuesday, CNN reported.
The group claimed that the President's blocking of users on the social network is "unconstitutional".
The suit argued that Twitter
is a public forum and as the President's Twitter
is used for official government announcements, the tweets should be accessible to everyone. The suit asked Trump to unblock the users.
enables ordinary citizens to speak directly to public officials and to listen to and debate others
about public issues, in the same way they could if they were gathered on a sidewalk or at a city council meeting," the lawsuit
By blocking people from reading his tweets, or from viewing and replying to message chains based on them, Trump was violating their First Amendment rights because they expressed views he did not like, the lawsuit
In a decision last month, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said that "cyberspace," specifically the social media, is the most important platform for exchanging views, citing Twitter
as a place for petitioning elected officials.
against Trump and his aides, filed in the Southern District of New York, followed a letter sent by the Knight First Amendment Institute to the White House
in June, asking the President to unblock people. But the White House
did not do so, the CNN report said.
The letter sparked debate over the constitutionality of elected officials blocking constituents.
Some people argued that the account, @realDonaldTrump, was personal and therefore blocking people did not violate the Constitution.
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