A federal court ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump's love of hitting the "block" button against his fellow Americans on Twitter is unconstitutional.
Civil liberties group Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University sued Trump in July 2017 on behalf of seven people he had blocked.
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York said in her ruling that Trump's @realDonaldTrump account is a "public forum." Blocking people based on their political speech, therefore, constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment. Trump's social media manager Daniel Scavino is also implicated in the suit.
"We hold that the speech in which they seek to engage is protected by the First Amendment and that the President and Scavino exert governmental control over certain aspects of the @realDonaldTrump account, including the interactive space of the tweets sent from the account," Buchwald wrote. "The viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by the First Amendment and cannot be justified by the President's personal First Amendment interests."
In April 2017, the National Archives and Records Administration recommended that Trump's tweet be preserved, as they are "official records that must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act."