Lawsuit filed against President Trump for blocking followers on Twitter

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, names Trump, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
By Chad Young | Jul 14, 2017
The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday on behalf of seven Twitter users who were blocked from access to President Trump's personal account, @realDonaldTrump, according to a report by The Los Angeles Times. The users say they were blocked after tweeting messages critical of the president or his policies.

The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, names Trump, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and White House director of media Dan Scavino as co-defendants.

"President Trump's Twitter account has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important forum for speech by, to, or about the president," said executive director of the Knight Institute, Jameel Jaffer, in a letter sent to the White House last month warning that legal action would be taken if it did not unblock Trump's followers. "The First Amendment applies to this digital forum in the same way it applies to town halls and open school board meetings. The White House acts unlawfully when it excludes people from this forum simply because they've disagreed with the president."

The plaintiffs include a comedy writer, a political consultant, a surgery resident, an author, a songwriter, a police officer, and a university professor.

President Trump also has blocked from his Twitter feed bestselling horror story writer Stephen King and the veterans advocacy group, VoteVets.org.

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