Judge Has Some Twitter Advice for Trump to End Lawsuit

'Isn't the answer he just mutes the person he finds personally offensive?'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 8, 2018 7:31 PM CST
Updated Mar 9, 2018 12:16 AM CST
Judge to Trump: Muting, Not Blocking, May End Twitter Suit
President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, Thursday, March 8, 2018.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

A judge recommended Thursday that President Trump mute rather than block some of his critics from following him on Twitter to resolve a First Amendment lawsuit, the AP reports. US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald suggested a settlement as the preferred outcome after hearing lawyers argue whether it's constitutional for Trump to block some followers. "Isn't the answer he just mutes the person he finds personally offensive?" she asked. "He can avoid hearing them by muting them." The hearing stemmed from a lawsuit filed in July by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and seven people rejected by Trump after criticizing the Republican president.

Lawyers on both sides said they saw merit to the judge's suggestion but would need to consult with clients. "It's not a perfect solution, but certainly, it is a pretty good one," said Katherine Fallow, a Knight institute lawyer. US Department of Justice attorney Michael Baer agreed muting would enable Trump to avoid reading a tweet he doesn't want to read. If no deal is reached, lawyers will rely on a written decision from Buchwald, who warned they might not like the outcome. The lawsuit was filed after Trump blocked some Twitter users from @realdonaldtrump, a nine-year-old account with nearly 50 million followers.

(Read more Donald Trump tweets stories.)

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