A judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled [opinion, PDF] Wednesday that President Donald Trump cannot block people from viewing his Twitter feed over their political views.
The court held that the @realDonaldTrump twitter handle possesses components that are “interactive space” where Twitter users may directly engage with the content of the president’s tweets. The court further found that these “interactive spaces” should be analyzed as “public forums.” Public forums have a special type of protection afforded to First Amendment Freedom of Speech rights.
[T]he blocking of the plaintiffs based on their political speech
constitutes viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment. In so holding, we reject the defendants’ contentions that the First Amendment does not apply in this case and that the President’s personal First Amendment interests supersede those of plaintiffs.
The plaintiffs argued that a result of being blocked by the president’s Twitter account, their ability to participate in the public forum was limited and they could not see the president’s policy tweets without logging out of their own Twitter accounts. They admittedly still possess the ability to create new Twitter accounts or look at the president’s tweets when logged out.