It took more than 280 characters, but a federal judge in Manhattan ruled Wednesday that President Trump and his aides cannot block critics from seeing his Twitter account simply because they had posted caustic replies to his tweets in the past.
U.S. District Court Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald cited First Amendment principles in holding that the social media platform offered a forum in which people could not only consume information and opinion from public figures but offer feedback to elected officials — just as they have the right to do in newsprint or in person in public spaces.
Buchwald boiled down the case to two simple questions: Can a public official block someone from seeing her or his Twitter feed, given First Amendment protections of free speech? And does it matter if that public official is the president?
"The answer to both questions is no," Buchwald wrote at the top of her opinion.
The case was technically filed against Trump, former communications director Hope Hicks, chief press secretary Sarah Sanders and social media director Daniel Scavino.