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President Appealing His Ban from Banning Twitter Followers

June 5, 2018 by Gail Nussbaum in Law, Politics

Dan Scavino

In the wake of last month’s federal court ruling disallowing President Trump from blocking followers of his on Twitter, the President and one of his top aides filed an appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, and President Trump, claim that the President uses his tweets to circumvent mainstream media to get his message directly to the people, claiming that the media is against him.

More than that, Trump has used his Twitter account multiple times to make statements of policy. One recent example is when he Tweeted last July that transgender soldiers were going to be barred from joining and serving in the military “in any capacity.”

US District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, appointed by President Bill Clinton, ruled consistently with the President’s usage of Twitter, as a “designated public forum,” and therefore said he could not block people from his personal Twitter account. The judge stated that blocking followers would be in violation of their constitutional rights.
In the past the Justice Department has argued that this case would send the First Amendment into “uncharted waters,” since federal courts would have to decide what a president could or could not do on a private web site, such as Twitter.

“It would send the First Amendment deep into uncharted waters to hold that a president’s choices about whom to follow, and whom to block, on Twitter — a privately run website that, as a central feature of its social-media platform, enables all users to block particular individuals from viewing posts — violate the Constitution,” Justice Department attorney Michael Baer wrote in August 2017.

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About Gail Nussbaum

Gail Nussbaum has been involved in politics and diplomacy for over 15 years. Her interest in foreign relations, economics and budget policy has led her to her position as fiscal policy writer at Left Justified. Gail can be contacted at gailnussbaum(at)leftjustified.com.

View all posts by Gail Nussbaum →

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