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Professor Roy Gutterman Discusses Court of Appeals POTUS Twitter Ruling

Posted on Thursday 7/11/2019
Roy Gutterman

Appeals Court: Trump Can't Punish Twitter Critics

(Multichannel.com | July 9, 2019) The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that President Trump can't selectively block people from his Twitter account because he does not like what they tweet, upholding a lower court ruling last May that that constituted "unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.

The three-judge panel ruling can be appealed to the full court.

The court said the President has used Twitter to conduct official business and interact with the public. The White House has said that tweets were official statements, so it did the spadework for the ruling itself ...

... “The Second Circuit today made a bold statement about how government officials like the president can use social media and how it relates to the flow of public information and debate on public issues," said Syracuse University Professor Roy Gutterman, director of the Tully Center for Free Speech. "The First Amendment prevents the president from blocking twitter followers because it would deprive users access to official government information. The opinion acknowledges that there are myriad First Amendment issues at play here, but the bottom line is the president should not deprive twitter users access to his official presidential account and reap the benefits of viewing his tweets, retweets and replies. If public speech is taking place in social media venues, then citizens should have access to the information under the First Amendment.”

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