A complaint filed today alleges that President Trump and others violated the First Amendment when they blocked Twitter users who wrote tweets critical of the president. The plaintiffs claim that preventing them from viewing comments, replying to tweets, and participating in comment threads denies access to an important public forum in the 21st century.
According to the complaint:
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. 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. As the Supreme Court recognized just a few weeks ago, social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter provide “perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizen to make his or her voice heard.” . . . . Twitter enables ordinary citizens to speak directly to public officials and to listen to and debate others about public issues, in much the same way they could if they were gathered on a sidewalk or in a public park, or at a city council meeting or town hall.
The complaint contains a single cause of action for declaratory and injunctive relief under the First Amendment. A judge has not yet been assigned.