NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — First Amendment advocates are suing President Donald Trump, claiming some of his critics have been unconstitutionally blocked from following him on Twitter.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
As WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reported, the plaintiffs argue that Trump chose to make Twitter a public forum, almost like a town hall meeting where anybody can participate.
Katie Fallow is an attorney with the Knight First Amendment Institute.
“There are so many ways in which the president and the White House has used the Twitter account as official statements and as the primary way of communicating with the public and governing,” she said.
Fallow’s clients said Trump blocked them because he did not like what they had to say, and she said government cannot do that in a public forum.
“By blocking, it is essentially sanitizing this important discussion forum and making it seem like there is less dissident than there may be,” Fallow said.
The lawsuit asked a judge to stop Trump and his media team from blocking critics from following him.
A spokeswoman for government lawyers declined to comment to the Associated Press.
The director of the Knight First Amendment Institute is Jameel Jaffer, who worked for years with the American Civil Liberties Union.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)