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Trump's Twitter Use Prompted A New Lawsuit Against Him

The lawsuit argues the @realDonaldTrump account is a public forum and that it's therefore unconstitutional to block users from seeing it.
Posted at 10:27 AM, Jul 12, 2017

President Donald Trump is being sued again. This time, it's by a group of Twitter users who've been blocked from his @realDonaldTrump account.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the group argues that account is a public forum and that it's therefore unconstitutional for the president to block anyone from accessing his tweets.

The lawsuit says all seven individual plaintiffs were blocked from viewing Trump's Twitter feed after criticizing either the president or his policies.

The plaintiffs call the Twitter account "a kind of digital town hall." They allege their First Amendment right to free speech is being infringed upon because they can no longer view and reply to Trump's tweets.

Trump's director of social media Dan Scavino and White House press secretary Sean Spicer are also named in the lawsuit because the plaintiffs believe they have access to the @realDonaldTrump account.

Trump uses his personal Twitter account to make official statements, like when he announced he was nominating Christopher Wray to head the FBI last month.

And the White House has previously said the president's Twitter feed is an official platform.

"Are President Trump's tweets considered official White House statements?" a reporter asked during a press conference in June.

"Well, the president is the president of the United States, so they're considered official statements of the president of the United States," Spicer said.

The lawsuit follows a letter to Trump from the Knight First Amendment Institute. It asked him to unblock users on behalf of two of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit.

But the White House never responded. The plaintiffs are still asking to be unblocked and awarded attorney fees.