President Donald Trump has blocked users on Twitter from seeing his feed, oftentimes because they disagreed with him. Now, those users are suing him.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District Court of New York, the Knight First Amendment Institute, along with seven additional plaintiffs who claim they have been blocked from seeing the feed because they have expressed comments opposing the President, filed a case against Trump. White House Secretary Sean Spicer, and Dan Scavino, the White House Director of Social Media, were also named as defendants.
The suit claims that blocking Twitter users from a President’s twitter feed is unconstitutional because it is withholding access to important news about the U.S. government, and demands that the plaintiffs’ access be restored to the feed.
The Twitter account of the Knight First Amendment Institute has not been blocked, according to the lawsuit, but representatives from the organization are arguing their First Amendment rights are restricted as well because they can’t see or read what the plaintiffs would have said if they hadn’t been blocked.
“Because of the way the President and his aides use the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, the account is a public forum under the First Amendment,” the lawsuit argues, explaining that the plaintiffs who cannot view the feed are having their first amendment rights violated.
“It imposes an unconstitutional restriction on their participation in a designated public forum. It imposes an unconstitutional restriction on their right to access statements that Defendants are otherwise making available to the public at large,” the lawsuit states.
Spicer has previously said that tweets from Trump’s Twitter feed can be deemed official statements from the White House. The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.