A small group of Twitter users blocked by Donald Trump are suing to gain access to his tweets, claiming his Twitter account is a public forum and as a government official, it would be unconstitutional for his tweets to blocked off from any individual.
On Tuesday, July 11, seven Twitter users, represented by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, filed their lawsuit against the president, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and White House director of social media Dan Scavin. The group claims Trump and his administration violated their First Amendment rights once they were blocked for scrutinizing the president.
"Because of the way the President and his aides use the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, the account is a public forum under the First Amendment," the suit states. The group argues that Trump's personal Twitter account @realDonaldTrump should be considered as a public forum because it serves as a "digital town hall" for Trump to deliver critical government news to his 33 million followers.
Under the changed distinction, Trump, who uses his personal Twitter as an outlet to unleash his thoughts and actions, would be infringing on the right to free speech by blocking those who criticize him. However, the suit faces an uphill battle as many believe Trump's account should not be treated with the same standards as his official @POTUS account. The group seeks to unblock the users and prohibit the president from blocking others on the social media platform.