Blocked Twitter Users File Lawsuit Against President Trump

President Donald Trump. Photo: White House
President Donald Trump. Photo: White House

By Rakesh Raman

The U.S. President Donald Trump is facing yet another legal rigmarole, as a free-speech group and a slew of Twitter users filed Tuesday a lawsuit against him.

They argue that Trump is suppressing dissent by blocking those users who do not agree with him. Consequently, they insist that Trump is violating the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedoms of religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.

The lawsuit filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in New York is supported by seven Twitter users who were blocked by Trump when they criticized his tweets.

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In their complaint filed in the District Court for the Southern District of New York, the complainants have sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The complaint argues that President Trump’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important public forum for speech by, to, and about the President.

It further adds that in an effort to suppress dissent in this forum, defendants have excluded — “blocked” — Twitter users who have criticized the President or his policies. This practice is unconstitutional, and this suit seeks to end it.

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Besides Trump, the other defendants in the case are White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and White House Director of Social Media Daniel Scavino.

The complaint demands – among other reliefs – an injunction requiring defendants to unblock individual plaintiffs from the @realDonaldTrump account, and prohibiting defendants from blocking the individual plaintiffs or others from the account on the basis of viewpoint.

Trump is already facing a major probe which may lead to his impeachment. Recently appointed special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump in an obstruction of justice case.

Mueller will investigate Trump and his close associates for an attempt to scuttle fired FBI director James Comey’s probe into Trump’s collusion with the enemy nation Russia in order to win the November presidential election.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist. He had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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Rakesh Raman