President cannot block critics on Twitter, judge rules
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald issued the written decision on Wednesday.
A federal judge in New York has said that President Donald Trump violates the First Amendment by blocking critics on Twitter for political speech.
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan issued the written decision on Wednesday.
In the ruling, she said no government official — including the president — is above the law.
U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said that because President Trump is a public figure, his Twitter account is a designated public forum.— AJ+ (@ajplus) May 23, 2018
His blocking people "based on their political speech constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment." pic.twitter.com/9cNRoGsKlD
The case was brought last July by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and seven individuals blocked by Mr Trump after criticising the Republican president.
After a hearing this year, the judge had suggested that President Trump mute rather than block some of his critics.
At the time, a Justice Department attorney agreed that muting would enable President Trump to avoid a tweet he does not want to read.