Court Will Consider If the Troller-in-Chief Can Use His Twitter Block Button

Illustration for article titled Court Will Consider If the Troller-in-Chief Can Use His Twitter Block Button
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President Trump is the embodiment of all right wing trolls. He dishes it out, but he can’t take it. On Tuesday, federal judges will consider whether the king of making up nicknames for his adversaries and then bashing them on Twitter can block folks who hate him and his presidency.


According to The Washington Post, Justice Department lawyers claim that @realDonaldTrump account is the president’s personal platform to call Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary” or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” and as such he should be allowed to block those he doesn’t wish to hear from and that should not be considered a violation the First Amendment.

From the Post:

The Trump administration is appealing a District Court judge’s ruling from May siding with seven individuals blocked on Twitter after they posted comments critical of the president and his policies. Judge Naomi Buchwald of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said the comment threads attached to Trump’s tweets, open to anyone without restrictions, are a public forum.

Blocking individuals from those interactive spaces because of their views, she said, is unconstitutional.The Supreme Court has not directly addressed how the law applies to expanding digital spaces for public debate, and the case involving the president’s Twitter account is a high-profile legal test.

Free-speech advocates have argued that the president’s social media account is no different than a town hall meeting and as such, they are protected by the First Amendment and should be allowed to respond to his random musing and bully tactics.

“Blocked users are denied the opportunity to participate fully in the rapid, ongoing conversations occurring on Twitter and other social media,” attorneys from Georgetown University Law Center’s Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection wrote in a brief in support of the blocked followers.

“. . . Blocking users based on their opinions poses the very dangers that the First Amendment’s ban on viewpoint discrimination has long sought to prevent: allowing the government to silence its critics, foster warped perceptions of officials’ popularity, and chill dissenting voices who may avoid speaking out for fear of reprisal.”

The Post:

Among the Twitter users blocked by Trump and expected to attend the hearing Tuesday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit are a D.C. writer and legal analyst; a University of Maryland professor; a surgery resident from Nashville and a comedy writer from New York. They are represented by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.

The three-judge panel hearing the case includes Judges Barrington D. Parker Jr. and Peter W. Hall, both nominees of President George W. Bush, and Christopher F. Droney, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.


Lawyers for the blocked Twitter users argue that the case isn’t about Twitter but rather how the president uses Twitter. They note that Trump routinely uses the social media site to “announce government appointments and dismissals and his administration’s policies.”

During his time as press secretary, Sean Spicer told reporters in June 2017 that Trump’s tweets were to be considered “official statements by the president.” The National Archives are reportedly preserving the president’s tweets.


A lower court found that the president couldn’t block folks on Twitter, so the president unblocked the seven folks who filed the case, and then he filed an appeal.

Also, the president is a bitch.

Also also, check back later in the day to see if a resolution has been reached, but something tells that as long as Mercury is still working below its pay grade that Trump’s going to get whatever he wants.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.


Old white guy

Nice to know the DOJ is spending resources on real important cases, like this. And investigating the deep state. And Hillary’s emails! And all the other of the president’s enemies!

(And how come every other celebrity or mini-celebrity or just public person learned 600 years ago to ignore the comments section on twitter, but Mr. Small Hands and Tiny Penis hasn’t? Oh, right, that takes intelligence).