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Twitter Critics Blocked By Trump File Suit


First Amendment advocates have filed a suit against President Donald Trump, saying that some of his critics have been unconstitutionally blocked from his Twitter account because they criticized the President or his policies.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in a Federal court in the Southern District of New York by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University on behalf of seven individuals from across the country who have been blocked from @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.

They contended that President Trump and his communications team are violating the First Amendment by blocking individuals from the social media.

In a letter sent to the White House last month, the Knight Institute had warned of legal action if Trump's critics are not unblocked on Twitter, which has become an important public forum for the President where he frequently makes public announcements. The White House did not respond to that letter.

"The First Amendment applies to this digital forum in the same way it applies to town halls and open school board meetings," said Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute's executive director.

The White House acts unlawfully when it excludes people from this forum simply because they've disagreed with the President, according to Jaffer, who worked for years with the American Civil Liberties Union.

The complaint argues that since @realDonaldTrump account is a "public forum" under the First Amendment, the government cannot exclude people from it simply because of their views. The seven individual plaintiffs are Philip Cohen, a professor in Maryland; Eugene Gu, a surgeon in Nashville, Holly Figueroa, a songwriter and organizer in Seattle; Nicholas Pappas, a comedy writer in New York City; Joseph Papp, author and former cyclist in Pittsburgh; Rebecca Buckwalter-Poza, writer and legal analyst in Washington; and Brandon Neely, police officer in Houston.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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