President Trump blocked some people from his Twitter account. Is that unconstitutional?

Jun 08, 2017, 02:19
President Trump blocked some people from his Twitter account. Is that unconstitutional?

President Donald Trump's approval rating fell to a new low on Wednesday, dropping from 37% to 34%, according to a new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University.

But calling Twitter a public forum may be a stretch, legally speaking, said Michael Overing, a lawyer and adjunct professor at USC who specializes in 1st Amendment law.

The key issue is ensuring citizens are not kept out due to their viewpoints or what they have to he said.

The institute argues that Trump's Twitter account is a designated public forum "for essentially the same reasons that open city council meetings and school board meetings are." .

One main question, Abdo said, is whether the account is considered a personal or an official one.

The Knight First Amendment Institute says no, because he's president and because of the First Amendment.

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"The Knight Institute asked the President to unblock its clients, or to direct his subordinates to do so", the release added.

While over 14k people liked the amusing tweet, Trump was less amused and blocked her account.

My responses were swift and not politically correct ("bloody idiot" figured into one popular tweet of mine), but if anyone understands the need to eschew political correctness, it's our dear leader.

Tuesday, the institute sent a letter to the president asking him to unblock his critics on Twitter or risk facing legal action.

A growing number of Americans, from 49 percent to 59 percent, said Trump's use of Twitter is a bad thing, including 77 percent of Democrats (up 5 points from December) and 61 percent of independents, an 18-point increase among that demographic.

"This is a context in which the Constitution precludes the president from making up his own rules", said the institute's executive director, Jameel Jaffer, according to the L.A. Times.

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This distinction could be important in the future, as courts are arguing how Trump's tweets should affect their rulings on his travel ban.

"Twitter certainly doesn't want to be a public forum", Overing said. Twitter allows users to block others, censor "sensitive content", and even mute certain keywords that they would rather not have appear on their timeline.

The president's tweets are statements of policy. His decisions about that account are therefore not constrained by the First Amendment.”.

On the broader question of whether his tweets are hurting his presidency, 57 percent of voters said yes.

Trump's Twitter use has drawn intense media attention for his unvarnished commentary about his agenda and attacks on critics. "Perhaps there may be some additional power in a public forum to make this nice but that's really murky", he said.

LawNewz.com reached out to the White House for comment, but they have not responded.

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Of the top White House staff, chief strategist Steve Bannon was the person Trump voters selected most often for possible termination, at 27 percent.

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