Donald Trump has spent parts of this week unblocking Twitter users who have upset him, following a court order that ruled his blocking of Twitter users unconstitutional, Huffington Post is reporting.
Throughout his presidency, Trump has blocked an untold number of Twitter users – potentially thousands – from reading his posts or commenting on them. Some of those blocked individuals include author Stephen King, model Chrissy Teigen, and, as reported by the Inquisitr, a parody account role playing as that of a cat.
Seven of those blocked users teamed up with the Knight First Amendment Institute to sue Trump to have their blocked status revoked. Those users included, among others, a college professor, a surgeon, and a police officer (no blocked celebrities were party to the lawsuit).
The blocked users claimed that Twitter functions as a public forum, in much the same way that an old-fashioned political rally or modern town hall would function. By blocking the users from seeing his posts, the lawsuit claimed, Trump was effectively silencing them, violating their First Amendment rights to free speech.
“When I found out the president blocked me, it felt as though my opinion didn’t matter.”
As Slate reported in May, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald agreed.
“The interactive space for replies and retweets created by each tweet sent by the @realDonaldTrump account [qualifies as such a space].”
The federal judge who ruled that Trump can’t block Twitter followers, #NaomiReiceBuchwald , was the judge initially selected to preside over my 2003 obstruction trial. Mysteriously, she recused herself and was replaced by Richard Owen, “The Hanging Judge” https://t.co/xdRQd8EIuC
— Frank Quattrone (@FrankQuattrone) May 24, 2018
She also noted that Trump has used Twitter to advocate for his agenda, make policy moves, and announce personnel changes, among other executive activities, strengthening the plaintiffs’ case that Twitter is a public forum and that, in blocking them, Trump violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights.
“No president is above the law.”
As of this writing, Trump – or a delegate – has been unblocking multiple Twitter accounts previously blocked, including the original seven plaintiffs and a few dozen others, at the very least.
Some of the now unblocked users are using their status to take digs at the president.
Formerly-blocked @bessbell, for example, said exactly what was on her mind.
“Thank you to the Knight Foundation for legally forcing @realDonaldTrump to take out his sticky little phone, scrunch his nose, open Twitter, search my name, shout ‘Do I seriously have to f**king do this,’ be told yes by Dan Scavino, take a deep breath, and click ‘Unblock.'”
She then went around and blocked Donald Trump in return.
Similarly, @jules_su did the same, saying blocking Trump was her “first order of business.”
It is not clear, as of this writing, how many people Donald Trump blocked and how many he will have to unblock.