BFF-82 Trump appeals court ruling he can’t block Twitter critics

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BFF-82

US-IT-JUSTICE-POLITICS-TRUMP-TWITTER

Trump appeals court ruling he can’t block Twitter critics

NEW YORK, June 5, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The US Justice Department has said it
will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that President Donald Trump cannot
legally block Twitter users who disagree with him.

The appeal notice, filed Monday before the US appellate court in New York,
refers to the original May 23 ruling by federal district Judge Naomi Reice
Buchwald.

She ruled that the blocking of Trump critics violated the free speech
rights of those users guaranteed in the Constitution’s First Amendment.

The president’s @realDonaldTrump account has more than 52 million followers
and is his favorite public communication tool, in the face of what he calls
“fake news” media which publish investigative articles about him and his
administration.

Buchwald’s ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by the Knight First
Amendment Institute, which is based at Columbia University in New York and
works to defend free speech.

The case was filed in the name of seven individual plaintiffs who said they
were blocked from the @realDonaldTrump account after posting tweets critical
of his policies.

Although they were still able to see the tweets without logging in to
Twitter, and to quote Trump’s tweets in their own messages, their comments
were excluded from the threads that make up a public “conversation” involving
the president and his Twitter followers.

After Buchwald’s ruling, the White House unblocked the plaintiffs’ Twitter
accounts, their lawyer Jameel Jaffer said.

One of them, Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen, was blocked in June
2017, 15 minutes after he reacted to a Trump tweet by accusing him of being
“Corrupt Incompetent Authoritarian.”

“We whined. We complained. We sued. We won our First Amendment lawsuit in
federal court. And now @realDonaldTrump has unblocked me. Wow!,” Cohen
tweeted on Monday.

The Knight Institute said “many others are still blocked.”

BSS/AFP/MRI/2145 hrs