By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, and other reports, 5-23-18

A U.S. district court judge in Manhattan has ruled that if a Twitter account is used by a government official, then it constitutes a public forum subject to First Amendment protections.

The Knight First Amendment at Columbia University had filed suit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of seven persons who had been blocked from President Trump’s Twitter account.  Knight argued that the president and his communications staffers had violated the First Amendment by blocking them because they had criticized him or his policies.

According to various reports, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald agreed that a Twitter account used in a government capacity is a public forum, so blocking users based on political speech was unconstitutional.

Knight also argued that blocking those individuals violated their right, also under the First Amendment, to petition the government for redress of grievances.

The judge reportedly did not enjoin the president from blocking critics, or provide injunctive relief, but left it up to the White House to comply with the ruling.  » Read More