Now AOC gets sued for blocking people on Twitter
On Tuesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled President Trump is not allowed to block people on his Twitter account, because the social-media page was used for “official purposes” and such a move would violate the First Amendment.
Within hours, one of the far-left newcomers to Congress who has done the same thing, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., also was sued.
The Associated Press reported the decision in Trump’s case “is likely to reverberate throughout politics after the Manhattan court warned that any elected official using a social-media account ‘for all manner of official purposes’ and then excluding critics violates free speech.”
The decision isn’t the first on the issue. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals earlier this year found a Virginia political violated the First Amendment by blocking a constituent from a Facebook page.
But the new ruling got a lot more attention because it involves the president.
Now Ocasio-Cortez, the confrontational congresswoman and former bartender known for her far-left views, is facing her own legal action.
Fox News reported it was a former Democratic New York assemblyman who sued her just hours after Tuesday’s court ruling was announced.
Dov Hikind filed the action for her decision to block users on Twitter based on their personal viewpoints.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked me on Twitter yesterday apparently because my critique of her tweets and policies have been too stinging,” Hikind said in a statement.
Fox News had obtained the information about the case in federal court in the Eastern District of New York.
“Just today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling that elected officials cannot block individuals from their Twitter accounts, thereby setting a precedent that Ocasio-Cortez must follow,” Hikind said.
He charged Ocasio-Cortez was “acting cowardly” and “should be ashamed of her attempts to silence me.”
He is asking for an injunction against her and a declaration she violated the First Amendment.
Others also have noted Ocasio-Cortez has blocked them. The Daily Caller reported it was blocked in May after it wrote about Ocasio-Cortez’s claims about the Green New Deal. Others also said they plan legal action.
Hikind’s complaint states: “In an effort to suppress contrary views, defendant has excluded Twitter users who have criticized AOC and her positions as a congresswoman via ‘blocking.’ This practice is unconstitutional and must end.”
The Trump Department of Justice has argued that such accounts are personal and the First Amendment is not implicated by actions regarding the account.
The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University had brought the case over the president’s Twitter page.
The AP reported Trump’s account has more than 60 million followers and “has become a must-read forum for world leaders, critics and fans.”