President Donald Trump is facing more legal woes for blocking people on Twitter despite a court order that he cannot do so.
The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed a new lawsuit against Trump on Friday for keeping several Twitter users blocked on his @RealDonaldTrump account. The group is suing in federal court in New York — the same court that ruled in May 2018 that Trump cannot block people from using his account because he uses it to announce important policy updates. That decision was backed by a federal appeals court in July 2019, and the circuit court declined to review its decision in March.
But according to the Knight Institute’s new lawsuit, Trump has not unblocked users he had blocked before his inauguration. Users who couldn’t identify which tweet prompted Trump to block them also remain blocked, the suit said.
Trump’s team told the Knight Institute on July 20 that the president doesn’t intend to unblock those users, according to the suit. The Knight Institute’s lawsuit wants Trump to blanket unblock all users unless there are justifiable reasons to keep them blocked on an individualized basis.
“Defendants’ continued blocking of Individual Plaintiffs … violates their First Amendment rights,” the Friday lawsuit said. “It unconstitutionally restricts their rights to read or participate in the discussion occurring in the public forum of the @realDonaldTrump account.”