Lawsuit Alleges President Trump Violated 1st Amendment by Blocking U.S. Citizens on Twitter

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With each tweet, President Trump says he’s redefining the American presidency, describing his use of social media as “modern day presidential” and necessary to fight what he deems fake news.

President Donald Trump returns to the White House on July 8, 2017, after a trip to Europe. (Credit: Olivier Douliery / Getty Images)

Not everyone agrees on the substance of Trump’s social media message, but both his supporters and detractors have something in common: They want access to Trump’s frenetic Twitter feed.

Which is why the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of seven Twitter users who say their 1st Amendment rights were violated after they were blocked from reading Trump’s personal account (@realDonaldTrump, not the official @POTUS account) after criticizing him or his policies.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, names Trump, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and White House director of social media Dan Scavino as defendants. The Knight Institute sent a letter to the White House last month threatening legal action if it didn’t heed its call to unblock followers.

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