The President and other administration officials were sued by a first amendment group, the Knight First Amendment Institute in federal court on Tuesday.
The group alleges that President Trump has violated the first amendment by blocking American citizens on from his @realDonaldTrump account, which the White House has said repeatedly are official statements from the President.
“President Trump’s Twitter account has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important forum for speech by, to, or about the president,” Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute’s executive director, said in a statement. “The First Amendment applies to this digital forum in the same way it applies to town halls and open school board meetings. The White House acts unlawfully when it excludes people from this forum simply because they’ve disagreed with the president.”
The case filed in Manhattan on Tuesday represents seven Twitter users who claim they were blocked by Trump’s account after they tweeted criticism toward him. The suit seeks a court order that would force the president to stop the practice, unblock the accounts, and pay the plaintiff’s court fees.
The group warned the White House that it would pursue an injunction in a letter sent to the President and his staff last month.
The White House has yet to comment on the suit, but it will be interesting if they should try to use the “it’s his personal account” line when they’ve clearly and in unequivocal terms said it was to be taken as official presidential statements. However, it wouldn’t be the first administration to want to have its cake and eat it too.
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