Earlier today Ed wrote about the 2nd Circuit decision that President Trump may not block people on Twitter on the grounds that it constitutes viewpoint discrimination for what are defacto government communications. Now Fox News reports Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being sued for blocking Republicans from her Twitter feed.
Former Democratic New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind filed a lawsuit against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. in federal court on Tuesday for blocking users on Twitter based on their personal viewpoints, following a federal appeals court ruling earlier in the day barring President Trump from doing the same.
“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked me on Twitter yesterday apparently because my critique of her tweets and policies have been too stinging,” Hikind said in a statement announcing the suit, which was filed in the Eastern District of New York and obtained by Fox News.
“Just today the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling that elected officials cannot block individuals from their Twitter accounts, thereby setting a precedent that Ocasio-Cortez must follow,” he added. “Twitter is a public space, and all should have access to the government officials on it.”
One of the arguments in Trump’s case is that he regularly breaks news on his Twitter account, therefore blocking progressive trolls cuts them off from important communications from the president. Of course, it doesn’t really cut them off. They can always log out and view his feed and any important news would immediately be retweeted by lots of people who don’t block those same users. But the court said Trump can’t do it so it would seem AOC can’t do it either. After all, the same circumstances apply. She’s a government representative who regularly makes news on Twitter. Hikind’s full complaint can be found here.
— Dov Hikind (@HikindDov) July 9, 2019
The Hill reports that a second individual who is running for Congress in New York also filed a lawsuit against AOC’s use of Twitter:
Congressional candidate Joseph Saladino, who is running in a Republican primary for the chance to battle Rep. Matt Rose (D-N.Y.) announced lawsuits this week against the freshman Democratic congresswoman, seeking injunctive relief in the form of a court order demanding they be unblocked…
“I have officially filed my lawsuit against [Ocasio-Cortez] for blocking me on [T]witter,” Saladino tweeted. Trump is not allowed to block people, will the standards apply equally? Stay tuned to find out!”
It will be interesting to see how these complaints, which are being filed in the same circuit that decided the Trump case, will fare. Will AOC fights this? Will Trump stop fighting it? I’m assuming the standard will have to be the same for both of them.