A lawsuit over whether or not former President Donald Trump could block individuals from seeing content published on his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account has been dismissed by the US supreme court.
Heeding the rulings of the court of appeals for the second circuit, the supreme court concluded that the end of Trump’s presidency made moot the case of whether or not he should be allowed to restrict visibility of his tweets. The second circuit upheld ruling states that blocking individual respondents on the basis of their viewpoints violates the US constitution’s first amendment.
The president’s account amounts to a public forum of sorts, said the second circuit, and because it often concerns official matters of national interest, and publishes contributions from White House staff members, the former president was not allowed to retaliate by blocking the users’ Twitter accounts.
The US justice department made a request for the supreme court to dismiss the case as moot on the night before President Joe Biden was inaugurated in January. Government lawyers argued for the reversal by contending that the president’s decision to block responses from individual Twitter accounts was allowed by any Twitter user, and was a personal choice. The request also asked Scotus to vacate the rulings of lower courts.
Former president Trump’s account was permanently banned by Twitter following the events of 6 January 2021, when a mob of angry rioters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to block Congress from certifying Biden’s election victory.
Justice Clarence Thomas agreed with the court’s decision to make the case moot, although he expressed concern that “applying old doctrines to new digital platforms is rarely straightforward”, signaling that this was a problem he believes deserves further consideration.
Katie Fallow, senior staff attorney at the Knight Institute, which advocates on behalf of first amendment issues, represented the blocked Trump Twitter followers. In her successful argument for lower court rulings to be kept intact, she said it would shape how public officials use social media.
“There is now widespread recognition that the principles we established in this case are important to protecting the vitality of public forums that are increasingly important to our democracy,” Fallow said.
Source: Thanks msn.com