Trump Wants His Blocking Privilege Back

DOJ appeals court ruling as Twitter users are unblocked
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2018 9:45 AM CDT
This April 3, 2017, file photo shows President Trump's Twitter feed on a computer screen in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
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(Newser) – "We whined. We complained. We sued. We won our First Amendment lawsuit in federal court. And now @realDonaldTrump has unblocked me," University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen tweeted Monday. The Justice Department later confirmed all seven plaintiffs who successfully argued President Trump violated their right to free speech by blocking them on Twitter had been unblocked following their court win two weeks ago, reports Reuters. Still, it's apparently too soon for them to celebrate. Trump and White House social media director Dan Scavino are appealing the ruling that determined the blocking of people who addressed the presidential account was a constitutional violation, Politico reports, citing notices filed by three DOJ officials on Monday.

Though the basis for the appeal wasn't made clear, DOJ attorney Michael Baer previously said "it would send the First Amendment deep into uncharted waters to hold that a president's choices about whom to follow, and whom to block, on Twitter—a privately run website that, as a central feature of its social-media platform, enables all users to block particular individuals from viewing posts—violate the Constitution," per Politico. A lawyer representing the seven plaintiffs says she's "disappointed that the government intends to appeal the district court's thoughtful and well-supported ruling," though she adds she's "pleased" to see blocked users regain their right to free speech. Among them: Texas police officer Brandon Neely. "I AM BACK!!!" he wrote to Trump on Monday. (Read more President Trump stories.)

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