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Federal Court Rules Trump Can’t Block Critics on Twitter

Federal Court Rules Trump Can’t Block Critics on Twitter

“This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0pMQHNjtxc

What a time to be alive.

A federal judge in New York City ruled Monday that Trump cannot block critics on his personal Twitter account.

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled disallowing citizens to view the president’s tweets makes blocking users on the “public forum” unconstitutional. The ruling seems to suggest any public official could be held to the same standard and also opens up a potentially fun question about the rights of users supressed for their political beleifs in a so-deemed “public forum.”

The Columbia University Knight Institute, a First Amendment advocacy organization, sued Trump last year.

NBC reports:

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said in her ruling that Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing certain Americans from viewing his tweets on @realDonaldTrump.

The social media platform, Buchwald said, is a “designated public forum” from which Trump cannot exclude individual plaintiffs. She rejected an argument by the Justice Department that the president had a right to block Twitter followers because of his “associational freedoms.”

The judge’s ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed last July by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, as well as seven other plaintiffs whom Trump had personally blocked from following him.

The plaintiffs included a journalist who had tweeted at Trump that “Russian won” the presidential election for him, a surgeon and a Texas police officer.

One plaintiff told CNBC that she is aware of at least 150 verified Twitter users who have been blocked by the president and that there are at least hundreds more unverified accounts that Trump has blocked.

The blocks on the social media platform prevented the plaintiffs from viewing or responding to the president’s tweets when logged into their own Twitter accounts. Trump is an avid Twitter user and routinely makes news, often several times in a single day, with his posts.

…”This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States,” Buchwald said said in her opinion.

“The answer to both questions is no.”

Judge Buchwald said plaintiffs lacked standing to sue White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders along with Hope Hicks who recently resigned from the White House.

The DOJ disagrees with the ruling and has 60 days to appeal. “We respectfully disagree with the court’s decision and are considering our next steps,” as DOJ spokesman told NBC.

Related to the ruling or other news, I’m not sure, but this morning Trump tweeted:

Judge Buchwald’s order:

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: granting in part and denying in part 34 Motion for Summary Judgment; granting in part and denying in part 42 Motion for Summary Judgment. We conclude that we have jurisdiction to entertain this dispute. Plaintiffs have established legal injuries that are traceable to the conduct of the President and Daniel Scavino and, despite defendants’ suggestions to the contrary, their injuries are redressable by a favorable judicial declaration.

Plaintiffs lack standing, however, to sue Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is dismissed as a defendant. Hope Hicks is also dismissed as a defendant, in light of her resignation as White House Communications Director. Turning to the merits of plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, we hold that the speech in which they seek to engage is protected by the First Amendment and that the President and Scavino exert governmental control over certain aspects of the @realDonaldTrump account, including the interactive space of the tweets sent from the account. That interactive space is susceptible to analysis under the Supreme Court’s forum doctrines, and is properly characterized as a designated public forum.

The viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by the First Amendment and cannot be justified by the President’s personal First Amendment interests. In sum, defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part, and plaintiffs’ cross-motion for summary judgment is granted in part and denied in part. The Clerk of the Court is directed to terminate the motions pending at docket entries 34 and 42. SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald on 5/23/2018) (ama) (Entered: 05/23/2018)

Full judgement here:

2018.05.23 Order on Motions for Summary Judgment by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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Comments

Interesting… now that Twitter has been decreed a “designated public forum” I presume that other statutes apply. For example, discrimination and censorship of conservative viewpoints should now be verboten, correct?

    regulus arcturus in reply to Paul. | May 23, 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Correct.

    Cue class action lawsuits against Twitter using this ruling as justification and guidance.

    Probably not the outcome they had in mind.

    Milhouse in reply to Paul. | May 23, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    No, Twitter has not been designated a public forum of any kind. I don’t know where you could have got that idea. Twitter is a private company and therefore not subject to the first amendment in any manner.

    The court held that Trump’s feed is a public forum, because he is running it, in part, in his official capacity as president.

    Since his inauguration in January 2017, President Trump has used the @realDonaldTrump account as a channel for communicating and interacting with the public about his administration. […]

    Since the President’s inauguration, the @realDonaldTrump account has been operated with the assistance of defendant Daniel Scavino, “the White House Social Media Director and Assistant to the President”

    “With the assistance of Mr. Scavino in certain instances, President Trump uses @realDonaldTrump, often multiple times a day, to announce, describe, and defend his policies; to promote his Administration’s legislative agenda; to announce official decisions; to engage with foreign political leaders; to publicize state visits; […]

    President Trump sometimes uses the account to announce matters related to official government business before those matters are announced to the public through other official channels. […]

    The National Archives and Records Administration has advised the White House that the President’s tweets [email protected] […] are official records that must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act. […]

    First, to potentially qualify as a forum, the space in question must be owned or controlled by the government. […] Here, the government-control prong of the analysis is met. […]

    The President and Scavino’s control over the @realDonaldTrump account is also governmental. The record establishes (1) that the @realDonaldTrump account is presented as being “registered to Donald J. Trump, ‘45th President of the United States of America, Washington, D.C.,’”; (2) “that the President’s tweets [email protected] . . . are official records that must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act,”; see 44 U.S.C. § 2201(2) (defining “Presidential records” as those created “in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President”); (3) that the @realDonaldTrump account has been used in the course of the appointment of officers (including cabinet secretaries), the removal of officers, and the conduct of foreign policy, all of which are squarely executive functions […]

    That is, the President presents the @realDonaldTrump account as being a presidential account as opposed to a personal account and, more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can be taken only by the President as President. Accordingly, we conclude that the control that the President and Scavino exercise over the account and certain of its features is governmental in nature. […]

    the parties exercising control here are a public official, the President, and his subordinate, Scavino, acting in his official capacity […]

    No one can seriously contend that a public official’s blocking of a constituent fromher purely personal Twitter account — one that she does not impress with the trappings of her office and does not use to exercise the authority of her position — would implicate forum analysis, but those are hardly the facts of this case.

    For the same reason, defendants’ reliance on the President’s establishment of the account in 2009 […] is unpersuasive. To the extent forum analysis applies, “[t]he past history of characterization of a forum may well be relevant; but that does not mean a present characterization about a forum may be disregarded.” […] certain First Amendment restrictions apply “so long as a forum remains public” […] “the nature of the site changes” depending on how the site is being used […]

    That control, however, does not extend to the comment thread initiated by a tweet sent by the @realDonaldTrump account. The comment thread […] therefore cannot be a putative forum. […] the comment threads — as distinguished from the content of tweets sent by @realDonaldTrump, the @realDonaldTrump timeline, and the interactive space associated with each tweet — do not meet the threshold criterion for being a forum […]

    Based on the government speech doctrine, we reject out of hand any contention that the content of the President’s tweets are susceptible to forum analysis. […] Indeed, the content of the tweets sent by @realDonaldTrump are solely the speech of the President or of other government officials […] For the same reason, the account’s timeline […] is not susceptible to forum analysis […] The same cannot be said, however, of the interactive space for replies and retweets created by each tweet sent by the @realDonaldTrump account. At minimum, as to replies, they are most directly associated with the replying user rather than the sender of the tweet being replied to […] Nor is the interactive space of each tweet, as distinguished from the content of the tweet, constrained by the notions of inherent selectivity and scarcity that the Supreme Court held to counsel against the application of forum doctrine […] In sum, we conclude that the interactive space associated with each of the President’s tweets is not government speech and is properly analyzed under the Supreme Court’s forum precedents. […]

    Here, these factors strongly support the conclusion that the interactive space is a designated public forum. “The @realDonaldTrump account is generally accessible to the public at large without regard to political affiliation or any other limiting criteria,” “any member of the public can view his tweets,” and “anyone [with a Twitter account] who wants to follow the account [on Twitter] can do so,” unless that person has been blocked. […] Similarly, anyone with a Twitter account who has not been blocked may participate in the interactive space by replying or retweeting the President’s tweets. […] Further, the account — including all of its constituent components — has been held out by Scavino as a means through which the President “communicates directly with you, the American people!” […] And finally, there can be no serious suggestion that the interactive space is incompatible with expressive activity: rather, Twitter as a platform is designed to allow users “to interact with other Twitter users in relation to [their tweets],” […] and users can use Twitter to “petition their elected representatives and otherwise engage with them in a direct manner,” […] The interactivity of Twitter is one of its defining characteristics, and indeed, the interactive space of the President’s tweets accommodates a substantial body of expressive activity. […] Taking these factors together, we conclude that the interactive space of a tweet from the @realDonaldTrump account constitutes a designated public forum. […]

    To be clear, a public official does not lose his First Amendment rights upon taking office. […] “[n]othing in the First Amendment or in [the Supreme] Court’s case law interpreting it suggests that the rights to speak, associate, and petition require government policymakers to listen or respond to individuals’ communications on public issues […] “[a] person’s right to speak is not infringed when government simply ignores that person while listening to others,” or when the government “amplifies” the voice of one speaker over those of others. […] Nonetheless, when the government goes beyond merely amplifying certain speakers’ voices and not engaging with others, and actively restricts “the right of an individual to speak freely [and] to advocate ideas,” it treads into territory proscribed by the First Amendment.

      SDN in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      But they HAVE been designated a “common carrier”.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | May 23, 2018 at 8:17 pm

        No, they have not been.

          SDN in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:43 pm

          Look up Section 230 of the CDA and realize your ignorance. They have used that safe harbor without following its’ terms.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 3:47 pm

          Bzzzt. Don’t you dare call other people ignorant when all you’re doing is displaying your own ignorance. Section 230 has nothing to do with common carriers. The term does not appear anywhere in it. Section 230 protects any “provider or user of an interactive computer service”, which definitely includes Twitter.

      Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      I see there are at least three people, so far, who can’t deal with facts. I dare anyone to explain what objection anyone could have to my comment, which simply reports the objective truth without expressing any opinion whatsoever. I did you all a service by excerpting and summarizing the relevant parts of the opinion; how could anyone possibly object to that? Every person who down-votes is simply demonstrating that they are exactly the same as all the SJWs who think they can change reality by claiming it offends them.

        tphillip in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 9:23 pm

        > Every person who down-votes

        Awww. Isn’t it cute? Millhouse is a transplanted Reddit karma whore.

        Never knew those up and down votes meant so much to you.

      malclave in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 8:51 pm

      How would this impact Twitter’s right to ban users? It seems to me that they would be preventing someone from exercising his 1A right to Trump’s tweets.

        Milhouse in reply to malclave. | May 23, 2018 at 9:00 pm

        Not at all. Twitter doesn’t have to let you read anything. Trump does. Twitter could even decide of its own accord to block the plaintiffs from following Trump’s account; so long as it didn’t do so at Trump’s request, or that of any other state actor, it would be perfectly within its rights. Of course it would never do that, because it is 100% on board with the “resistance” and loves this ruling.

          gospace in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:08 pm

          I think you’re quite wrong there. It’s a very logical extension of the court ruling. Trump cannot block users on his personal account because it blocks the users first amendment rights. If Twitter bans someone- it prevents them from seeing and therefore replying to the personal tweets of Trump on his personal account- thus preventing them from exercising their first amendment rights. One follows another. And the exercise therefore applies to every public official with a twitter account. It’s impossible to limit this ruling to It only applies to Trump because us Democrat judges don’t consider him a legitimate president..

          The decision opens a whole big can of worms. Until it gets shot down in appeal. 75 pages of explanation as to how the Constitution requires Trump to unblock users in his personal account means the Constitution doesn’t require it. One paragraph would be all that’s needed if the decision were actually based on the Constitution.

          Blocking users does not in any way violate a users first amendment right to comment on Trump’s tweets. There are literally thousands of newspaper articles condemning Trump for his tweets, discussing them, and usually lying about them. Fisrst amenment in action. A reader of his tweets can exercise their first amendment rights on their Facebook or Google+ or Myspace page. Or on their gab.ai account. Or they can hand write a letter to POTUS and send it to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Or email their opinion to everyone they know and all the congresscritters and senators. Or print out their opinion, make a thousand copies and hand it out on street corners. The first amendment guarantees a right to free speech. It doesn’t guarantee a particular forum for it. The judicial opinion has nothing to do with the Constitution and is simply another demonstration of anti-Trump animus by the judiciary.

          I wouldn’t know anything of what Trump tweets without the MSM. I’m not on Twitter. But since the MSM obsessively covers them…

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:07 pm

          Gospace, it is not his personal account. Politicians have every right to block people from their personal accounts. But this is not a personal account, it is controlled by the government. And the government is subject to the first amendment; Twitter is not. Twitter can block anyone from anything, including from Trump’s account. The US government cannot. And it was the US government that blocked the plaintiffs from this account, for no other reason than that they expressed an opinion critical of the president.

          And yes, it applies to every account that is controlled by a government entity. That entity may not block people merely for what they say, while Twitter may do so.

          Oh, but I forget, aren’t you the person who refuses to accept that you can’t change parties in time to vote in the NY D primary this year? Twice I gave you the plain facts, which are not subject to dispute, and yet you refused to accept them. Well, you will learn the hard way that I was right, when you show up in September to vote and are given a R ballot.

          gospace in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:21 pm

          June 26, 2018 Federal Primary Deadlines
          MAIL REGISTRATION (N.Y. Election Law Section 5-210(3))
          Application must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2018 and received by a board of elections no later than June 6, 2018 to be eligible to vote in the Primary.

          You really need to actually look at laws before you spout them out. I’ve got until 1 JUN to walk into my county registrar. For federal primary elections. For state elections: September 13, 2018 State and Local Primary Deadlines

          IN PERSON REGISTRATION (N.Y. Election Law Sections 5-210, 5-211, 5-212)
          You may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act, on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the State and Local Primary, your application must be received no later than August 19, 2018

          I’ve got until 19 AUG. That’s from the state board of elections website. Talking out your ass is why you receive so many down votes.

          gospace in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:29 pm

          But then, looking again, it states that to change party registration for NEXT YEAR I have to do it by October.Kind of odd it doesn’t say it’s too late to do it this year. It doesn’t say that anywhere on the BOE website.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:42 pm

          You blithering idiot. You’re looking at the deadlines to register to vote, which is irrelevant to you because you’re already registered. Nothing you quoted has any relevance to changing parties. As I have already explained to you at least twice, but you refuse to listen. Understand that I never talk out of my fundament. If I don’t know something I don’t guess; I either look it up or remain silent.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:52 pm

          But then, looking again, it states that to change party registration for NEXT YEAR I have to do it by October.

          Yes, exactly as I carefully explained to you twice already. Applications to change parties are only processed once a year. All applications received between Oct-14-2016 and Oct-13-2017 were processed on Nov-14-2017; applications received between Oct-13-2017 and Oct-12-2018 will be processed on Nov-13-2018.

          Now what was that about talking out of one’s lower rhttps://legalinsurrection.com/2018/05/federal-court-rules-trump-cant-block-critics-on-twitter/#commentsegions? I am waiting for your apology. And your acknowledgement that next time I tell you a fact you’ll take it seriously.

          malclave in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 5:39 am

          But doesn’t that mean that a person can be deprived of a 1A right without due process of law?

          Maybe I just don’t understand the nuance, but it seems to me that if I have a Constitutional right to follow Trump on Twitter, it follows (or should, at least) that I have a Constitutional right to be ON Twitter. Otherwise it’s not really a right.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 4:01 pm

          Twitter is not Congrefs. It is a private company and is therefore not bound by the bill of rights. “Congrefs shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech or of the press”. All federal government entities, including the president, operate under authority of a law made by Congress, so they are bound by it too. The fourteenth amendment extended most of the bill of rights to the states, so now every government entity at every level is covered.

          But private entities are not bound by it, and are free to abridge people’s freedom of speech or the press as much as they like. That’s why Prof J can ban people from commenting here, and why private universities can have “speech codes”, and why you can tell your kids that so long as they live under your roof they will keep a decent tongue in their mouths.

          So neither Trump nor Daniel Scavino, acting as government officials, can block people from his account. But if Twitter were a supporter rather than an opponent of Trump, and of its own accord decided to block “resisters” from his account, it could do so. It just couldn’t do so at Trump’s request.

      Paul in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 9:31 pm

      Well, quite clearly I got that idea by reading the article which uses those exact words in quotes.

      But thank you for the more detailed analysis of the legal decision.

      I guess that the plaintiffs could just get their access to this public data via the library of congress then huh? But of course that’s not what this is really about.

      FORWARD! with #TheResistance!

        Milhouse in reply to Paul. | May 23, 2018 at 9:36 pm

        The article doesn’t say Twitter has been decreed a designated public forum. It says the interactive space around Trump’s account is one.

        And no, it’s not about the plaintiffs’ right to access information. They can do that anyway. It’s about their right to participate in the forum, by following, replying, and retweeting, which they can’t do if they’re blocked.

          Paul in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 11:43 am

          Yes it does say that exactly:

          “The social media platform, Buchwald said, is a ‘designated public forum’…”

          If you want to elucidate based on your reading the actual briefings, that’s great. But don’t treat people like they’re morons for reading what is clearly stated in article.

      rotten in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 5:47 pm

      If Trump can’t censor discussion with the President, then why can Twitter?

Of course, this ruling applies to ALL public officials doesn’t it? Mike Pence, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald (will this apply to her courtroom as well?, Chuck Schumer, etc.

I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that Ms Naomi hasn’t thought this through.

    Milhouse in reply to MSO. | May 23, 2018 at 7:12 pm

    Yes, of course it applies to all public officials’ Twitter feeds. Why do you think any of them would have a problem with it?

    No, of course it does not apply to a courtroom. A courtroom is not a public forum.

      SDN in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:47 pm

      Given the number of conservative reporters blocked by Democrat lawmakers like Schiff, Waters, Schumer, etc., you’re being disingenuous at best.

      MSO in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:41 pm

      I don’t have a twitter account and I don’t like the messaging format so I don’t often visit. But when I do, nobody blocks me, they don’t even know I’m there.

      Now, the President could block everybody and that would block me, but he could not block me any other way since I do not have an account.

      This leads me to believe that the judge has decided that the President’s account must allow anybody to post to his account. We all know how fast an internet site can become absolutely useless if trolls and others are allowed to pollute its content with endless minutia and nonsense.

      The only way to prevent that from happening is to block offenders from posting to the site. Is this ruling actually forcing the President to allow his site to be overrun by trolls?

        Milhouse in reply to MSO. | May 23, 2018 at 11:58 pm

        I don’t have a twitter account either, but the decision explains quite clearly what the consequences are of being blocked. There are things an account’s followers can do, such as retweeting and replying, and having these show up in ways others who are interested can see, and blocked users can’t do those things. And it is that “interactive space”, not the twitter feed itself, which the judge said is a forum. And since the account is government-controlled, the forum is protected, which means it can only be regulated for time, place, and manner, not for content. Since the plaintiffs were blocked for no other reason than that they tweeted messages critical of the president, blocking them was illegal.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:14 pm

          The problem here is that we’re making judicial precedent based on technology types. Rather than applying a general principle that is scalable, we’re tying ourselves into the *medium* itself and the technology it provides.

          This is just as dangerous as asserting that the principle behind rational limits on legal abortion is fetus viability – eventually, through technology, that might go all the way back to conception itself. It may seem completely obvious that killing a baby at 39 weeks is wrong, but hanging your hat on the fact that it is viable is a line that will be moved arbitrarily by technology.

          Government representatives have numerous public forums where they are allowed to speak, and limit those who get to speak back. Any press briefing includes exclusive access to a select cadre, as well as rules about who gets called on, arbitrarily. Simply because we have the technology to let billions of people into the “forum”, and allow them all to speak at once, doesn’t seem to be a good reason to eliminate any sort of communications control in these forums.

          Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:57 pm

          Simply because we have the technology to let billions of people into the “forum”, and allow them all to speak at once, doesn’t seem to be a good reason to eliminate any sort of communications control in these forums.
          ————————————————

          And the judge agrees. There are limits that can rightfully be imposed.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 4:11 pm

          A press briefing is not a forum. Nobody gets to speak there without being called on. But the law is that if and when the government decides to designate some space as a public forum, it may not exclude anyone from that forum merely for the content of their speech. It may regulate the manner of participation, so long as the rules it imposes are both rational and strictly content-neutral.

          A twitter account is not such a forum, but the interactive space around it is. So if Trump or Scavino were to decide to block every account that posts more than 20 replies in a 24-hour period, and were to announce this rule and enforce it completely neutrally, that would be fine. But they can’t do what they did here, which is to block people because they posted messages critical of Trump.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 6:34 pm

          “But the law is that if and when the government decides to designate some space as a public forum, it may not exclude anyone from that forum merely for the content of their speech. ”

          Is this irrevocable, or can they un-designate some space as a public forum?

          Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 8:22 pm

          I would say yes, it can. It would take a course of conduct, maybe as well as a declaration, eschewing governmental use.

          I don’t think that is impossible. I DO think it highly improbable.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 8:47 pm

          “It would take a course of conduct, maybe as well as a declaration, eschewing governmental use.”

          But why would eschewing governmental use be required? We’ve already established that there are non-public forms that are for governmental use (whitehouse press briefings), but what we haven’t figured out is the following:

          1) the means by which a public forum is implicitly created;

          2) the means by which a public forum can be explicitly turned into a non-public forum.

          For #1, milhouse seems to assert that the public forum is implicitly created because it is de facto open to some % of the public who can create a twitter account at will. What that % is that triggers this de facto “public forum” status is not defined.

          For #2, one could assert that by blocking the public, even if only arbitrarily and selectively, the “public forum” can be turned into a non-public forum.

          Besides the press briefing scenario, the other scenario which seems important is the public university scenario – is their campus a public forum? Can they declare their campus a non-public forum through restriction? Obviously, this is true in the specific (for example, the University Chancellor has every right to selectively invite people into her office for whatever arbitrary reason she may have), but if say, the university funds the hosting of left-wing speakers, but refuses the same opportunity to right-wing speakers, do they run afoul of constitutionality? Must every public university host any speaker on equal terms, regardless of point of view? Or do they have the right to create non-public forums with arbitrary restrictions?

          Seems to be to be a good case for getting rid of government schools 🙂

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 9:53 pm

          The government can certainly close a public forum. Let’s say a park, or a speaker’s corner, or a graffiti wall. The government put it there and it can take it away.

          But you’re still not getting the fact that whether something is a forum is an objective fact, not a matter of declaration. If the government opens a space for the public to express themselves it is a forum. If it closes that space it’s no longer a forum.

          What you’re suggesting is that by excluding people with certain opinions the government is making it not a forum. If you think about it for half a minute you’ll see how ridiculous that is. If it were so then there could be no public forum doctrine at all, because the very act of infringing it would make it a non-forum, where there is no right to speak! It should be perfectly obvious to you that this cannot be, and therefore your reasoning is flawed.

          If Twitter were to offer a “no followers” mode for accounts, Trump would be free to use it. Or he could adopt a policy of blocking everyone. Either of those would be saying “This is not a forum. The public is invited to listen, not to speak.” But he doesn’t want to do that. He wants the public interaction, so long as it’s confined to his fans. And he simply cannot do that in a government-controlled space.

          Yes, a university could make its campus a non-forum by banning all forms of expression in that space. No tabling, no leafleting, no loitering and accosting people with your opinions. But it cannot do so selectively unless it’s speaking in its own name.

          Inviting speakers is a form of endorsement, and so government speech. The government is entitled to choose what it wants to say and what it doesn’t. But to the best of my knowledge if funding is provided for student groups to invite speakers, who are therefore not speaking for the university, it must be provided on a content-neutral basis.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 10:08 pm

          “But you’re still not getting the fact that whether something is a forum is an objective fact, not a matter of declaration. If the government opens a space for the public to express themselves it is a forum. If it closes that space it’s no longer a forum.”

          Yeah, I’m not getting it. “Twitter users” are a subset of “the public”, just as “the white house press corps” is a subset of “the public”. Somehow, you’re asserting that anything that *some* “Twitter Users” are allowed to do must be open to *all* “Twitter Users”. But you wouldn’t make that same argument for members of the white house press corps – obviously they don’t all get treated the same, and some have their expressions limited.

          “If it were so then there could be no public forum doctrine at all, because the very act of infringing it would make it a non-forum, where there is no right to speak!”

          But the inverse then is also true – if it were the way you claim, there could be no *non-public* forum doctrine at all, because the very act of creating any right to speak demands that *everyone* has a right to speak!

          “He wants the public interaction, so long as it’s confined to his fans. And he simply
          cannot do that in a government-controlled space.”

          But you’ve given away the game there – he’s not targeting “the public”, he’s targeting “his fans”. Does a sitting president have the right to say, send emails on behalf of the DNC, without sending them to the rest of the public? Are forums for fans allowed at all?

          This starts twinging my “freedom of association” spidey senses. He’s obviously had a policy of limiting his forum to his fans. By definition, that means he’s been working in a non-public forum. The fact that people who are *not* his fans can get in without his express permission, and he has to take affirmative action to block them once they are identified, doesn’t mean that his intent was to open a public forum where all comers have an equal voice.

filiusdextris | May 23, 2018 at 5:39 pm

If it’s a designated public forum, how do I apply to get tweeting privileges on the account?

    Milhouse in reply to filiusdextris. | May 23, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    You don’t. The content of the president’s tweets are government speech, and thus not a public forum. Only the interactive space around those tweets, i.e. the ability to follow, retweet, reply, etc. are a public forum.

      SDN in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      Which means an awful lot of conservatives will get to require Twitter to reinstate their accounts so THEY can see President Trump’s tweets.

        Ragspierre in reply to SDN. | May 23, 2018 at 8:06 pm

        Yes. What about this ruling has you so wee-weed up?

          Rags, just confused. As I said in another post, I have no twitter account, but also have no trouble following the President’s tweets.

          What is this judge doing exactly? If I can read all of the tweets without a twitter account, what does her ruling do for anybody?

          Does twitter push the President’s tweets to other accounts that follow the President’s account? Is that it? She’s actually forcing the President to push his posts in real time to anybody that wants them?

          How does the President know who to block? I always assumed it was the arrival of undesirable responses, etc. You know, trolls, fruit cakes, spam and that sort of thing.

          To me, it sounds like the judge is issuing a ruling that doesn’t rectify anything but does attempt to block the President’s communications.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 12:34 pm

          There’s no implication in this ruling that muzzles the POTUS…whoever they might be…from using Twatter (which I’ve identified as a net social toxin and join you in NOT using).

          I think the answer(s) to your other question(s) are contained in Milhouse’s analysis.

          This ruling is no big deal, one way or the other. It’s apolitical, as apparently were the plaintiffs (taken as a group). It only effects a practice when certain users are clearly “government” types, using the platform for governmental things, as does Duh Donald.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | May 23, 2018 at 8:29 pm

        No, it means nothing of the sort. Twitter has no obligation to offer anyone an account. Twitter is not a state actor and can therefore do whatever the **** it likes.

        Twitter is a captive of the SJWs and personally I don’t want anything to do with it. I closed my account (which I’d opened soon after it started) about a year ago and will not create a new one.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:18 pm

          Barron isn’t a state actor. Is it permissible for him to click the “block” button when his father asks him to?

          If not, is it permissible for him to click the “block” button when he feels like his father would appreciate it?

          If the only restriction here is “state actors may not do X, or compel or instruct people to do X”, it seems like there are plenty of ways to have non-state actors effect the exact same result.

          Dead letter?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 4:16 pm

          If he did it at his father’s request, he would be a state actor.

          If his father let him play with it and he decided, completely on his own, to block certain people, I’m not sure what the analysis would be. On one hand he’d be acting under his father’s permission, and therefore as his agent. On the other hand, Donald would surely have granted such permission in his capacity as a father, not as a president. It would surely be arbitrary and capricious for the president qua president to give a child such control over a government account. And if he gave it qua father then Barron would not be a state actor.

DINORightMarie | May 23, 2018 at 5:40 pm

So, if a celebrity – a public figure – does not like being trolled by someone because they have a different political viewpoint, can they now be FORCED to allow that person to be a “follower”? Or does this only apply to political figures? Because there are a LOT of celebrities – and politicians – who will now have to allow MANY blocked followers if that is the case……

On that note, if the person is a political figure who is not elected any more, but held public office and is a former office holder – say, Hillary Clinton – will the same standards apply?! She has TONS of people she has blocked…….. Or will this be something applied selectively, based on political party association?

This.Is.Scary.

As in U.S.S.R. scary.

    Tom Servo in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    Not really “scary”, other than it’s kinda scary that this big of an idiot can sit on the bench. the proper response is:

    “Judge Buchwald, the opinion you wrote is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent opinion were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”

      gbear in reply to Tom Servo. | May 23, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Thumbs up X infinity.

      Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | May 23, 2018 at 7:19 pm

      Why don’t you point out the flaws in her analysis, if you’re so sure they exist? Have you even bothered to read the opinion? I’ll bet you did not, so what gives you the moral right to characterize it in such an insulting manner?

        Dejectedhead in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:40 pm

        Those blocked can just make new accounts to view and tweet from…with full access to the President’s twitter feed.

          Milhouse in reply to Dejectedhead. | May 23, 2018 at 9:01 pm

          Sure. They could always do that. How is this relevant, though? And how does it represent a flaw in her legal analysis?

        MSO in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:02 pm

        The flaw that I see is that the judge is forbidding the President from managing his account. Trolls, spam, garbage posts and all else could soon render the account useless and the President has no recourse.

          Milhouse in reply to MSO. | May 23, 2018 at 11:09 pm

          No, he is merely forbidden from excluding people from participating in a public forum because of the content of their speech. The plaintiffs were blocked for no other reason than that they tweeted a message critical of the president. He can do that with his private account but not with a government account.

          MSO in reply to MSO. | May 23, 2018 at 11:31 pm

          As President then, the judge says that he is not allowed to have an electronic billboard to promote his ideas and to gain support for his programs.

          Given that the press will not even accurately repeat the President’s words, this judge has effectively closed off his only means of communication.

          I understand that the law is the law, but I also understand that judges are free to say anything is the law regardless of the actual law. This is one of those cases.

          Milhouse in reply to MSO. | May 24, 2018 at 12:02 am

          Nope. He can have all the billboards he likes. The content of his twitter feed is government speech, not a public forum. He can communicate with the public all he likes. But if he invites them to communicate back to him and to each other, as he does in this “interactive space” on twitter, he has to let everyone use it on the same reasonable and content-neutral terms. He can block people for content-neutral reasons, so long as he applies those reasons to everyone.

        Dejectedhead in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:52 pm

        It’s a flaw in her analysis because the damages to the plaintiffs don’t exist. They can still post to the President’s twitter feed. They can still view his tweets. There are no damages to the people claiming harm.

          Milhouse in reply to Dejectedhead. | May 24, 2018 at 12:03 am

          Wrong again. The decision spells out the damages, both to the individual plaintiffs and to the Knight Institute. Go read it and inform yourself.

      Ragspierre in reply to Tom Servo. | May 23, 2018 at 7:58 pm

      Point to some specifics. Generally, this is a pretty sound ruling, well supported by case-law.

      I frankly can’t see anyone setting their hair on fire over this.

      This could prove to be a flawed example, but take the situation where ANY administration established an “enemies list” of people. It then directs the USPO to short-stop any mail from the “enemies”. It published this list.

      That seems sorta on point, and I hope everyone would see that that conduct would violate the First’s right to petition the government for redress.

      Now, there’s no duty on the part of anyone to read anything. Anyone in government can chose to read everything or nothing sent to them. But they cannot prevent its sending.

        Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | May 23, 2018 at 8:38 pm

        I don’t think your example quite works. I think a government official could instruct the post office not to deliver to him mail from certain people, or could instruct the mail room at his office building to file such mail in the circular bin. I’m not sure whether he could instruct the post office not to accept mail addressed to him from such people.

        But in any case the post office’s channel from the public to the official isn’t a public forum; it’s one-way communication. Twitter’s interactive space around a feed is multi-way communication open to all followers. They can communicate not just with the account holder but with everyone. That’s what makes it, in the case of a government-controlled account, a designated public forum.

          Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 5:44 am

          I disagree with the first part, and agree with you latter points bacause twatter is a much more “open” means of communication than the mail.

          I don’t think any public official could legally direct the USPO to NOT deliver mail from a list of “enemies”, except on security grounds. The First Amemdment would be evoked.

          And, of course, any executive could direct their own mail handlers to internally do anything with mail that struck their fancy.

          As I said, the analogy…like all analogies…is limited.

    Milhouse in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 23, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    Don’t be silly. Celebrities are not Congrefs, and are not bound by the first amendment. Only property owned or controlled by the government can be a public forum, if the government designates it for that use. The government controls Trump’s Twitter feed, and uses the interactive space around his tweets as a public forum. Therefore it cannot block people from using that forum. Nobody is forced to read those people’s replies, but they have the right to make them.

    Ragspierre in reply to DINORightMarie. | May 23, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    There’s nothing “scary” about this ruling. What are you so fearful of?

      Kemberlee Kaye in reply to Ragspierre. | May 23, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      ^ Agree. May not be a popular opinion, but the ruling seems perfectly reasonable.

        Dejectedhead in reply to Kemberlee Kaye. | May 24, 2018 at 1:11 am

        If its reasonable, then would this “minimal disruption of free speech” also apply to hecklers at the State of the Union speech? If you remove them from the building, then you’d be minimally harming their free speech rights to communicate with the President.

          Ragspierre in reply to Dejectedhead. | May 24, 2018 at 12:58 pm

          It’s reasonable AND not analogous to a heckler at a SOTUS speech. Can you distinguish between the two very different fora?

          Take the hypothetical where any office-holder enters a crowd and makes a public declaration. Can he/she order the removal of anyone with an expressed view that that person does not like (allowing that some expressed views would rightfully see the person expressing those views removed)?

          That would, indeed, be scary.

          In the case of a SOTUS, a heckler IS limited in their speech by time and place, but only that. They are not limited in speaking or any appeal for redress in other times or places. People can…and DO…post stuff in real time during SOTUS with no impediment whatsoever. And they SHOULD…!!!

          Milhouse in reply to Dejectedhead. | May 24, 2018 at 4:28 pm

          A state of the union speech, or any speech in Congress, is not a forum. It’s a place for the speaker to speak and the audience to listen. Unlike many legislatures, including the UK Parliament, the US Congress has no tradition of heckling, even from the floor, let alone from the public gallery.

          But in any case, even where heckling is permitted, and therefore it is a limited public forum, the government can still enforce strictly content-neutral rules about the volume, frequency, tone, etc. of such heckling. But it must enforce them exactly the same against supporters and opponents. Here the plaintiffs were blocked for no other reason than that they tweeted messages criticizing Trump.

Talk about a slippery slope.
Something tells me that the left will rue the day when this decision was made.

So … if the First means unrestricted reading as well as speaking/writing on Twitter, the “block” feature is now unusable by anyone within American jurisdiction. ?

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | May 23, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Not at all. Only by government actors who use their Twitter feed for official business.

      SDN in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      And by the judge’s ruling every character they Tweet is “official business”.

        Ragspierre in reply to SDN. | May 23, 2018 at 8:02 pm

        Wul, yah. IF they use twitter or whatever as a means to conduct the business of government, sure, absolutely, and duh.

        IF a congresscritter has a twatter account they use for personal messages, then no.

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | May 23, 2018 at 8:41 pm

        No, it is not. The judge explicitly wrote that their private tweets are not government business. Also that the content of Trump’s official tweets is not a public forum, because it’s government speech. Only the ability to react to those tweets, to reply, retweet, etc., is a public forum.

The left has wanted to redraft the 2nd Amendment to better fit their world view, for a long time.

Now, you can add the 1st Amendment to their list.

You have the right to say it, you don’t have the right to make me hear it.

    Milhouse in reply to Anchovy. | May 23, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    That’s right. Trump is free to ignore the replies he doesn’t like. But he can’t block them from making those replies in a space that he has chosen to put under government control as a public forum.

      Exiliado in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      And by calling it a public forum, it naturally follows that preventing someone from freely participating in that forum becomes a violation of that person’s First Amendment rights.
      I know that’s not so at the moment, but expect lawsuits to be filed in the near future. Class action most likely.

        Ragspierre in reply to Exiliado. | May 23, 2018 at 8:11 pm

        I’m mystified by this. Please explain.

        Milhouse in reply to Exiliado. | May 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm

        preventing someone from freely participating in that forum becomes a violation of that person’s First Amendment rights.

        Yes, that’s what the decision says. You seem to think it means more than that they can’t be blocked. What other way is there by which someone can be prevented by a state actor from participating in that forum?

4th armored div | May 23, 2018 at 6:27 pm

i don’t tweet, does it have a spam feature ?
if so, then it won’t be blocking if you. as a receiver, can choose with a filter where the reply goes to (trash can, special folder, etc ).

“A limited (or designated) public forum, according to the Supreme Court, is a forum set aside by government for expressive activities.”
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/designatedforum.htm

How is Twitter a “forum set aside by the government”?
A “designated public forum” seems to be municipality, publicly owned venues, not shareholder or private enterprises.

The legal guild continues to fail us.

    Milhouse in reply to gbear. | May 23, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Twitter is not subject to the first amendment, and nobody has claimed it is. Trump’s feed is controlled by the government, so it is subject to the first amendment. The content of his tweets are not a public forum, but the facility to follow, reply, retweet, etc. are.

      jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:26 pm

      Yeah, it seems like a stretch – the idea that putting up content creates a privileged area of replies that must be accessible to everyone doesn’t pass the sniff test.

      I’ll go back to the press briefings – the press secretary has every right to create an exclusive list of those people allowed into the room. The press secretary also has every right to control who gets to ask questions, and can eject people from the room for any reason whatsoever. Applying the “official government content creates a surrounding public forum that cannot be infringed by a state actor” would effectively make press briefings unconstitutional.

        Ragspierre in reply to jhkrischel. | May 24, 2018 at 2:01 pm

        Please address my hypothical of an elected official entering a crowd, making a statement, and then seeking the ejection of anyone whose opinion he/she does not like.

        The press conference model has obvious distinction from Twatter.

          jhkrischel in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 5:02 pm

          “Please address my hypothical of an elected official entering a crowd, making a statement, and then seeking the ejection of anyone whose opinion he/she does not like.”

          A press briefing with Acosta. The president enters the room, makes a statement, and then ejects CNN because he simply doesn’t like them.

          I’m still swirling around the assertion that “It’s up to the government whether to designate a space as a public forum.” (from milhouse) – if that’s true, there’s no rationale for why @realDonaldTrump can’t specifically refuse to designate the reply space on Twitter as a public forum. In fact, the fact that he used the blocking feature to control that reply space if prima facie evidence that it *was* a controlled forum by the government, rather than a public forum uncontrolled by the government.

          Now, if the assertion is that “it’s up to any given judge in any given jurisdiction to designate a space as a public forum”, I’ll call shenanigans and judicial overreach 🙂

          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 5:57 pm

          By inviting the general public to interact in that space he designated it a public forum. He cannot have a forum in government-controlled space where only his supporters are allowed to speak and not his opponents. It must be everybody or nobody. If he wants to hold a forum only for his supporters he must do it in private space.

          jhkrischel in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 6:04 pm

          “He cannot have a forum in government-controlled space where only his supporters are allowed to speak and not his opponents.”

          So press briefings where he only calls on his friends are unconstitutional?

          “If he wants to hold a forum only for his supporters he must do it in private space.”

          I’m not seeing a viable rationale for the difference between a “public space” and a “private space” that differentiates between Twitter and a press briefing. Both areas have only a subset of “the public”.

          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 10:00 pm

          Press briefings are not forums at all. Nobody is free to speak except by special invitation. It’s the same as a courtroom or a lecture. Actually less than a courtroom, because in a courtroom at least everyone has the right to watch silently, whereas nobody has the right to even attend a press briefing.

          jhkrischel in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 10:14 pm

          Nobody is free to speak except by special invitation.”

          So, this comes down to “whiltelists are okay, but blacklists are not okay’?

          If, for example, Trump expressly invited all of “his fans” to follow him, and only allowed those people who he vetted and approved to follow him, that would be fine, but post hoc blocking intruders who were *not* his fans, and followed him under false pretenses, would be forbidden?

          “It’s the same as a courtroom or a lecture.”

          So, he’s giving a lecture. During the lecture, people are passing notes back and forth, that get displayed on a screen over his head. Does he have the right to kick people out of the lecture hall so they can no longer pass notes back and forth over his head?

          If it works for that physical example, I’m hard pressed to discern why it wouldn’t work for a virtual example.

        Milhouse in reply to jhkrischel. | May 24, 2018 at 4:42 pm

        Nobody has suggested that the mere act of putting up content creates a forum around it. The President may operate a blog that does not allow comments. He may also invite guest bloggers to post. If Twitter has such a thing as an account that cannot be followed, he may operate such an account.

        But he has made a deliberate choice to operate a Twitter account which the general public are invited to follow, to reply, to retweet, etc. Since it is a government account that is a designated public forum, from which people may be excluded only on strictly content-neutral terms.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 5:04 pm

          “But he has made a deliberate choice to operate a Twitter account which the general public are invited to follow,”

          Isn’t that contra what he’s actually done? He’s made a deliberate choice to operate a Twitter account which the general public are *not* invited to follow, if he so decides to block them.

          Again, I’m smelling a circular argument here – it’s a public forum if he doesn’t control it, but he can’t control it because it’s a public forum. I’m not seeing a principle here that you can apply evenly regardless of technology platform.

          Is Twitter really so unique that we have to have special rules for it that don’t apply anywhere else?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 6:17 pm

          That’s not how it works. He has invited the general public to follow his account. That makes it an open forum. He can’t exclude members of that public merely because of their opinions. Suppose he were to hold a rally in a public park, rather than in private venues as he has done; he couldn’t exclude Democrats from participating and booing him just as his supporters cheer him.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 6:23 pm

          “He has invited the general public to follow his account.”

          Exactly how are we to establish that? Did he give a written invitation? Did he write an executive order? Or are you assuming that because the universe of “Twitter Users” are a subset of “the general public” (in the same way as “The Washington Press Corps” is a subset of “the general public”), and he *implicitly* invited them to follow his account by using the platform, that he cannot ever use the tools provided by Twitter to revoke that initial, unspoken, unintentional invitation?

          Is he allowed to revoke the invitation to the general public to follow his account, or is it a one shot deal?

          Again, it seems like it takes a number of shaky assumptions to support the final conclusion of this decision.

Dejectedhead | May 23, 2018 at 6:48 pm

LOL!

I can’t stop laughing at this. Our courts have gone the way of our journalists!

Did anyone explain to the judge that these blocked users can create new accounts and view his tweets?

    Milhouse in reply to Dejectedhead. | May 23, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Did you bother even skimming the opinion? Clearly you did not, because if you had you would know the answer to your question. Since you did not, you have no moral right to laugh at the judge. All you have done is make a fool of yourself. The nature of Twitter and of blocking users was indeed briefed in detail, and stipulated by both parties.

      Dejectedhead in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      I did. I didn’t see the answer to the question though.

      It’s a comical proposition, about as comical as you copy and pasting the entire decision into a comment as a form of summary.

      In conclusion, the court system is now undermining it’s own credibility and you support that action. That makes you the dunce.

        Ragspierre in reply to Dejectedhead. | May 23, 2018 at 8:17 pm

        Bullshit! You can either read or you cannot, and Milhouse didn’t copy and past anything. What he said was just patently true. The ruling addressed the question.

        Boot-strapping from my mail example (above) why would any citizen be compelled to set up an alter-ego to get mail to our representatives in SwampLand. Sure, it can be done. But on what predicate is that consistent with the First Amendment?

          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | May 23, 2018 at 8:47 pm

          Um, I did copy and paste the excerpts I posted above. I didn’t retype them! But of course I did not copy and paste the whole decision, or even a significant percentage of it. Why on earth would I want to do that? I carefully excerpted the relevant portions that explain why the account is subject to the first amendment, and why the interactive space within it is a designated public forum.

          Dejectedhead in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 12:09 am

          A citizen would be compelled to set up a new account to…you know, VIEW THE PRESIDENT’S TWEET. The can also, you know…REPLY ON HIS TWEET THREAD. You know, the claimed DAMAGES.

          Twitter isn’t directly tied to the user, that’s why Donald Trump doesn’t own @DonaldTrump. The only authenticity is the verification mark, which Twitter has already expressed is not for verification, but to denote important/favored people.

          If they need to identify themselves, the screen name other account is independent of the twitter handle.

          Milhouse in reply to Ragspierre. | May 24, 2018 at 12:19 am

          I think you meant to post that on a different thread. No matter. READ THE F—ING DECISION. Everything you claim to want to know is laid out there, in careful detail.

      Dejectedhead in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 12:47 am

      I posted it to the right thread. As stated earlier, I did read the decision. You’re so busy arguing with everyone though, I’m sure you don’t remember the comment.

      The reference I have for the decision is

      “the blocking of
      Case 1:17-cv-05205-NRB Document 72 Filed 05/23/18 Page 68 of 75

      69 the individual plaintiffs has the discrete impact of preventing them from interacting directly with the President’s tweets, Stip. ¶ 54, thereby restricting a real, albeit narrow, slice of speech. No more is needed to violate the Constitution.”

      It’s so comical, that if you find that to be compelling, then you’ve lost all touch with reality. I mean, you have a lot of company these days, so it’s not surprising.

        Ragspierre in reply to Dejectedhead. | May 24, 2018 at 5:54 am

        I doubt your view will be vindicated in any appellate court.

        The decision is sound, and non-“scary”.

        In fact, it won’t much effect any POTUS.

healthguyfsu | May 23, 2018 at 7:02 pm

So, if a politician can’t block someone, pretty much any government official can be spammed with tweets relentlessly without repercussion (and on their personal account, to boot!).

    Milhouse in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 23, 2018 at 7:39 pm

    They don’t have to read tweets they don’t like. They can filter them out of whichever client they’re using to read replies, if they like. And it does not apply to purely personal accounts.

      SDN in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      Since the judge issued this ruling against President Trump’s personal account, your dishonesty is obvious.

        Ragspierre in reply to SDN. | May 23, 2018 at 8:13 pm

        But is NOT “his personal account”. He uses it every day that gawd sends to transact government stuff, ALONG with his surrogates, who are ONLY government employees.

        What’s so hard about this?

        Milhouse in reply to SDN. | May 23, 2018 at 8:49 pm

        No, it is not his personal account. It was a personal account before his inauguration, and the judge specifically addressed that point and cited solid authority for ruling that it is no longer one.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:13 pm

      Except that a high profile twitter account is not just for the owner but also for the followers to read and follow. They are also disrupted by unremovable spammers. I’m guessing that this can cut both ways and people who get banned for obnoxious bot-like activity on any politician’s page can sue if they want to be reinstated.

        Milhouse in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 23, 2018 at 11:21 pm

        No, they can’t. Only if they’re blocked for expressing the wrong opinion.

        a high profile twitter account is not just for the owner but also for the followers to read and follow.

        Exactly. Which is why the Knight Institute had standing to sue for being prevented from reading the replies and retweets the individual plaintiffs would have made had they not been blocked.

        Ragspierre in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 24, 2018 at 6:00 am

        As noted often here, anybody can sue for anything. In the instance you hypothesize, the suit would fail. There are good, legally supportable reasons to ban someone. The ruling by the court here recognizes these.

        healthguyfsu in reply to healthguyfsu. | May 24, 2018 at 4:20 pm

        Fair..I’m not a lawyer.

        This can undoubtedly lead to more loss of productivity as people “civilly” fight on twitter across political pages. I’m sure twitter will love the traffic though.

I’m going to have a blast trolling Kamala Harris, then!

the First Amendment does NOT apply to Twitter or the internet in general, because it did not exist when it was passed and the Founding Fathers had no way of knowing such a thing would come about.

So, by the same illogic, EVERYONE ought to have access to attend all press briefings by all public officials.

And, rabid dogs like Jim Acosta can just scream continuously at the press secretary throughout the entire briefing.

    Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    Nope. Press conferences are not public forums, or indeed forums of any kind. Attendance is by invitation only, and invitees are there to listen, not to speak unless called on.

      Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      My Twitter account isn’t a public forum either.

      Its open ONLY to people I choose it to be.

      No one has the right to troll me on my own feed.

        Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 9:23 pm

        Your account isn’t a designated public forum because it’s not owned or controlled by the government. Trump’s account is, but the content of his tweets are not a public forum because they’re government speech. Only the interactive space around his tweets — the ability to follow, reply, and retweet — is a designated public forum, precisely because it is open to all and the government exercises no control over such activity. That is why it may not exclude anyone from it based on the content of their speech.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 9:44 pm

          No, actually.

          Trump’s Twitter account is HIS PERSONAL ACCOUNT.

          Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 9:52 pm

          No. It isn’t. You can stomp around all day blowing snot-bubbles.

          BECAUSE of the use that it’s been put to, it is NO LONGER a “private account”.

          Again, why is all this so hard? Is it just because someone named “Trump” is involved?

          Insert “Obama” and see if your analysis is different. Honestly.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 9:56 pm

          He’s not conducting government business on it.

          Its his PERSONAL ACCOUNT.

          He’s allowed to state his opinion about absolutely anything at all on his PERSONAL ACCOUNT. Including his OPINION on affairs of State.

          That doesn’t automagically turn it into, for legal purposes, a government OWNED forum.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:31 pm

          Arradin, you are deliberately lying. The evidence that the account is government controlled, and that he uses it in his official capacity to do things that only the president can do is right here. You have either read it and therefore know what you say to be false, or you have deliberately chosen not to read it and to remain ignorant of it, and therefore speak with reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of what you say; both are forms of lying.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:33 pm

          Oh, and it’s not a government owned forum. Twitter owns it. But the first amendment applies not only to property the government owns, but also to property it controls, and the US government controls this account.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:37 pm

          No, Trump does, personally.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:42 pm

          Funny how, for a year, when the media was up in arms about Trump bypassing them by communicating directly with the public using his PERSONAL Twitter account, everyone openly acknowledged that it was his PERSONAL account, and attacked it on that basis.

          Now that its convenient, legally, to pretend otherwise, a “judge” invents something with no basis in actual law to declare that its government property.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:15 pm

          Again you lie through your f—ing face. The judge did not invent anything. The judge demonstrated thoroughly and irrefutably that it is a government account. If you had some actual argument to make against the judge’s reasoning and precedents you would have made it. Therefore you have none. Just your filthy lies.

          Before Trump was president, the account was his private one. Now it is not. It is directly used and controlled by government officials in their official capacity, for government business, including things that only the president as president can do.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:37 pm

          No, its controlled by Trump, personally.

          Not the government.

          Its not run by his staff, or by any government officially.

          Its his PERSONAL account.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:55 pm

          “including things that only the president as president can do.”

          That’s a lie.

          Specific example: Trump announced on Twitter that he planned on ordering DOJ to investigate the spying on his campaign. Then, he had to actually issue an actual order, not on Twitter, to the DOJ the next day.

          Clearly, the first is NOT an official act. If it were, it would not need to be followed by an actual official act.

          “controlled by government officials”

          That’s also a lie.

          Trump controls his own personal account. There are no governmental officials running it. He has the same right to act as an individual as anyone else. That includes commenting, publicly, about his job. As noted above, he’s NOT using it to conduct actual government business – all of that still goes through normal channels.

          The judges “ruling” on this point has no basis in any actual law. Just judicial inventions to get a desired result.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 12:09 am

          Aarradin, STOP F—ING LYING.

          Trump uses his account to perform acts that only the president can do. That is an uncontrovertible FACT. You have no right, legal or moral, to say otherwise (false speech is not protected).

          Tell me who is Daniel Scavino, and why he was a defendant in this suit in his official capacity.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 12:16 am

          If you could cite a law that states that all statements by an elected official on social media are official acts of the government, then I’m sure you would simply do that.

          Since you can’t, you insult me personally instead.

          Which is all anyone needs to know to realize your position has no foundation.

          As noted above, your contention that Trump is conducting government business on Twitter is simply a lie. He’s conducting government business through normal channels and merely COMMENTING about that on Twitter. NOT an official act.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 12:46 am

          LIAR

          “Trump uses his account to perform acts that only the president can do.”

          You keep saying that, but you can’t actually cite a single official act he’s done through Twitter.

          As I pointed out above, he’s announced he’s GOING TO DO SOMETHING, often the next day, and then the next day he actually does it.

          That’s NOT an official act through Twitter. The official act is the actual order that he issues through normal channels the next day.

          For the fifth time: STOP LYING about this.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:26 am

          “You have no right, legal or moral, to say otherwise (false speech is not protected).”

          Wow, what a complete (_!_) you are.

          You really don’t get the 1st Amendment at all, do you?

          “That is an uncontrovertible FACT” – Nope, just a lie you keep telling that you’ve deluded yourself into believing.

          Ragspierre in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:23 pm

          Aarradin, dude, you’re simply wrong. T-rump uses Twatter every day (virtually) for governmental purposes.

          Also, I’d like to see some support for your contention that he’s been criticized for using his “personal” account by someone. I’m pretty well-read, and I’ve never seen that particular criticism.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:29 pm

          I’m still not seeing it:

          “Your account isn’t a designated public forum because it’s not owned or controlled by the government. ”

          “Press briefings aren’t a designated public forum even though they are owned and controlled by the government.”

          If simple government ownership and control determines a “public forum”, then official press briefings are obviously public forums.

          There must be some other criteria that you’re not mentioning here in your argument.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 4:55 pm

          jhkrischel, government ownership or control makes it subject to the first amendment. But not every space the government owns or controls is a public forum. Most spaces are not. It’s up to the government whether to designate a space as a public forum. When it does so, it must then regulate it in a content-neutral manner.

          In this case, the judge ruled, the content of Trump’s Twitter account is not a forum; it’s designated for him (and his staff) to speak and the rest of us to listen. But the “interactive space” around the account has been designated as a forum where the general public is invited to interact with the president and with each other. In the case of a private account that wouldn’t matter; this blog’s comment space is a forum, but Prof J is not a state actor, so he can regulate it any way he likes. But when the government sets up a blog with comment space, it may not censor that space based on content.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 5:16 pm

          “But the “interactive space” around the account has been designated as a forum where the general public is invited to interact with the president and with each other.”

          Designated by who? This particular ruling?

          Why are Twitter users now synonymous with “the general public”, if Twitter can actually ban people in the general public from the platform?

          Could a judge make the claim that “the White House Press Corps” is also now synonymous with “the general public”, and declare all press briefings as “public forums” where Acosta can’t be kicked out for trolling?

          I’m not seeing a consistent judicial rationale that can be applied to other situations.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 6:22 pm

          Trump designated the space as a forum by the act of operating it in this manner. Twitter users at large are the general public. Pretty much anyone can open an account.

          The White House press corps are a select group of guests whom the president invites to listen to him. They’re no different from the guests at a state dinner. And in any case it’s not a forum because they are not free to speak but only to listen, unless specifically called on to ask a question.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

          “Twitter users at large are the general public. Pretty much anyone can open an account.”

          But you admit, the two sets are not identical.

          So a few questions:

          1) how much smaller than the total population of the United States does the user base need to be before it is *not* legally equivalent to “the general public”;

          2) why can’t Trump reduce the the subset of “Twitter Users” to “Twitter Users Allowed To Follow Me”, in the same way he can reduce the subset of “Press Officers Stationed in DC” to “Press Corps Allowed Into My Briefing Room”?

          There doesn’t seem to be a clear demarcation of your categories here.

To repeat some key paragraphs of the decision:

“First, to potentially qualify as a forum, the space in question must be owned or controlled by the government. […] Here, the government-control prong of the analysis is met.”

“No one can seriously contend that a public official’s blocking of a constituent fromher purely personal Twitter account — one that she does not impress with the trappings of her office and does not use to exercise the authority of her position — would implicate forum analysis, but those are hardly the facts of this case.”

“Based on the government speech doctrine, we reject out of hand any contention that the content of the President’s tweets are susceptible to forum analysis.”

Curious how the 1st Amendment now applies differently for elected officials.

That’s a complete fabrication.

If Trump can’t block anyone, then neither can anyone else.

    Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    The first amendment does not apply differently for elected officials. The decision explicitly rejected such a proposition. Elected officials have the same first amendment rights as anyone else, so long as they’re acting in their private capacity. But when acting as state actors they may not exclude people from a space owned or controlled by the government (which Trump’s twitter account is) and that has been designated as a public forum (which the interactive space around that account has been), on the basis of the content of their protected speech.

      Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      That’s a completely judicial invention. Every individual bit of it.

      They’re just making it up as they go, to get the results they want.

      And, no, there’s NO DIFFERENCE between blocking someone from Twitter and not allowing someone into a press conference.

      What makes them the same is that the people in both forums can interact with the official.

      If you can terminate the press credentials of someone like Jim Acosta, for being disruptive – which Trump absolutely can do anytime he wants – then there’s no reason he can’t block people in his Twitter forum that are being disruptive.

      NO ONE has the RIGHT to speak in either forum.

      You follow the rules of decorum, or you get booted out – temporarily or permanently.

      Justice will appeal this nonsense, then we’ll see how the appellate court feels about this nonsense you’ve been spewing.

        Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 10:25 pm

        You’re being ridiculous. Every bit of the decision not only makes perfect sense but is supported by solid precedent. A press conference is not a forum. It’s exactly like a classroom at a government school, or a courtroom. If you are invited to attend (which you need not be) you are there to listen, not to speak unless called upon (which you need not be). The content of Trump’s twitter feed is not a forum either. It’s there for Trump or his designated proxies to speak and for the public to listen. But the interactive space created by the ability to follow, reply, retweet, and to see who else is following, read their replies and retweets, etc., is open to the public and the government does not pretend to exercise any control over it.

        Here, these factors strongly support the conclusion that the interactive space is a designated public forum. “The @realDonaldTrump account is generally accessible to the public at large without regard to political affiliation or any other limiting criteria,” “any member of the public can view his tweets,” and “anyone [with a Twitter account] who wants to follow the account [on Twitter] can do so,” unless that person has been blocked. Stip. ¶ 36. Similarly, anyone with a Twitter account who has not been blocked may participate in the interactive space by replying or retweeting the President’s tweets. Stip. ¶¶ 21, 22, 28, 36. Further, the account — including all of its constituent components — has been held out by Scavino as a means through which the President “communicates directly with you, the American people!” Stip. ¶ 37 (alterations incorporated). And finally, there can be no serious suggestion that the interactive space is incompatible with expressive activity: rather, Twitter as a platform is designed to allow users “to interact with other Twitter users in relation to [their tweets],” Stip. ¶ 13, and users can use Twitter to “petition their elected representatives and otherwise engage with them in a direct manner,” Packingham, 137 S. Ct. at 1735. The interactivity of Twitter is one of its defining characteristics, and indeed, the interactive space of the President’s tweets accommodates a substantial body of expressive activity. Stip. ¶¶ 41-43. Taking these factors together, we conclude that the interactive space of a tweet from the @realDonaldTrump account constitutes a designated public forum.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:56 pm

          Didn’t say it wasn’t backed by “precedents”, I said it was all a pile of judicial inventions with no basis in actual law.

          Thanks, again, for proving my point.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:18 pm

          What do you mean by “actual law”?

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 11:39 pm

          LOL!!

          You are such a putz!

          You really don’t know what a LAW is?

          That explains a lot!!

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 12:10 am

          I know what a law is. I asked what you mean by “actual law”.

          Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 12:44 am

          As opposed to a judicially invented ‘rule’.

          Your reading comprehension SUCKS.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 1:34 pm

          “But the interactive space created by the ability to follow, reply, retweet, and to see who else is following, read their replies and retweets, etc., is open to the public and the government does not pretend to exercise any control over it.”

          Doesn’t the government explicitly exercise control over it by using blocks?

          The judge is asserting that it is open to the public, but that’s only if you take away the right of the president to block trolls or other deplorables. This is a circular argument.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 4:58 pm

          By inviting the public to express themselves there, the government has designated it a forum. Once it has done so it can’t selectively block people from it based on what they have to say. So long as it allows the public to say positive things it must also allow them to say negative things.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 5:12 pm

          “So long as it allows the public to say positive things it must also allow them to say negative things.”

          Yeah, that still doesn’t follow. Those invited to press briefings are part of “the public”, but they can be arbitrarily kicked out based on the content of their speech during the briefings.

          Why would we consider the group of people invited to the press briefing as any different than the people invited to respond on Twitter? Is it simply numbers? Once you allow more than a million people, it’s considered public?

          The fact that Trump has delegated the invitation of respondees to Twitter as a corporation (who has rules about who is allowed on the platform and who is banned), doesn’t mean that he has designated his reply stream as a “public forum” (if you even grant him the discretion to declare things public forums).

          I think the part where things get wrapped around the axle is the idea of designating a “public forum” – what’s the case law on that? Must the “public forum” be designated by official proclamation? Executive order? Judicial fiat? I get the idea that the whole case rests on the idea that there are certain conditions where something can be ruled a “public forum” without the executive branch explicitly designating it so. And if that’s true, there’s a real question as to why the executive branch has *any* discretion in defining “public forums”.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 6:26 pm

          Designation as a forum is by function, not by explicit proclamation. Any space where the government allows the public to have their say is by definition a public forum, and therefore it may regulate that speech only in a content-neutral manner.

          Example: Public university campuses. The university allows students to express their opinions on all kinds of topics. It doesn’t have to. It could say “this space is for walking through on your way to wherever you’re going, and not for loitering or expressing anything”. But once it allows it to be used for any kind of expression it must allow it for all kinds, regulating only for time, manner, etc.

          jhkrischel in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 6:31 pm

          “Any space where the government allows the public to have their say is by definition a public forum, and therefore it may regulate that speech only in a content-neutral manner.”

          This is circular. By blocking people, he is explicitly *not* allowing the public to have their say. But he’s not allowed to do that, because he has to allow the public to have their say.

          Here’s perhaps a better question – how does one turn a private forum into a public forum, and how does one turn a public forum into a private forum? Or does the initial status of a forum forever determine its identity?

If this were just about seeing Trump’s tweets, then whatever. I can see arguing that you have a right to HEAR what could be described as a public announcement. But, even then, all of his Tweets get published in any number of other media outlets. There’s no need for anyone to have access to his Twitter feed to see all his tweets.

Real problem here is: He’s blocking TROLLS that spew hate continuously and disrupt the forum. Its HIS forum. He should be able to block people that are continuously being disruptive. Which is precisely what he has been doing.

    Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    No, it is not about seeing his tweets. Blocked users can do that. You don’t even need an account to see his tweets; I have no account and I can see them just fine. It’s about their right to participate in the interactive space around his tweets by following, replying, and retweeting. It is NOT his forum, it is a government-controlled space which he has designated as a public forum where anybody can do these things; therefore he may not exclude these people from that space merely because of the views they have expressed.

    Aarradin in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 9:41 pm

    Expand this ruling to any Town Hall and see how it plays out.

    EVERYONE has the right to speak, continuously, and be as disruptive as they please, and its a violation of their 1st Amendment Rights to boot them out.

    Idiotic, yes?

    So is this ruling.

      Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      No, they do not. Speech in limited public forums may be regulated as to time, place, and manner, but not as to content. Everyone has the right to speak for the same allotted time, at a normal volume and tone of voice, and then sit down and shut up. When the time available for public comment has all been allotted anyone who applies too late may be denied a slot. But during that allotted time they may say whatever they like, and they may not be booted out because someone didn’t like what they said.

      Which is exactly what happened to these plaintiffs. They were blocked for what they said, not for how they said it.

      Defendants do “not contest Plaintiffs’ allegation that the Individual Plaintiffs were blocked fromthe President’s Twitter account because the Individual Plaintiffs posted tweets that criticized the President or his policies.”

        Aarradin in reply to Milhouse. | May 23, 2018 at 10:05 pm

        Thanks for proving my point.

        Trump has the same right to block trolls on his Twitter feed that any Town Hall has to block disruptive people.

        The ruling only says he can’t block people for disagreeing with him.

          Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 10:26 pm

          And that is exactly what he did. “Defendants do not contest” that.

          Aarradin in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 10:45 pm

          So, worst case, even if Trump loses on Appeal, he can still block anyone that is being disruptive or disrespectful – to him or towards anyone else in the forum.

          He just couldn’t block someone merely for criticizing him or his policies.

          I’m sure he could live with that.

          Might not even be worth appealing.

          Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 23, 2018 at 11:16 pm

          It wasn’t worth fighting in the first place, since that’s all the plaintiffs ever wanted.

          Aarradin in reply to Aarradin. | May 24, 2018 at 12:20 am

          Maybe – but that assumes he didn’t care whether he had control over the forum on his own personal social media account – like EVERYONE ELSE.

          Clearly, he does care.

          I bet he appeals.

Ok, so what is to keep the White House from simply declaring “The judge is completely correct. Twitter posts from Donald J. Trump are public documents. Therefore, every Tweet the prez sends from now on will be posted at Whitehouse.govTrumpTweets. Anybody blocked by the President is free to read them on the Whitehouse site. Bye!”

    Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | May 23, 2018 at 10:27 pm

    Because it’s got nothing to do with their ability to read his tweets. They could do that anyway. The case is entirely about their right to participate in the interactive space, which is a designated public forum.

      “Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said in her ruling that Trump is violating the U.S. Constitution by preventing certain Americans from viewing his tweets on @realDonaldTrump.”

      A: We now post all of PDJT’s tweets on Whitehouse.Gov/Presidentialtweets with links to the Twitter tweet in question. Problem solved.

      Milhouse: “Because it’s got nothing to do with their ability to read his tweets. They could do that anyway. The case is entirely about their right to participate in the interactive space, which is a designated public forum.”

      A: There is nothing preventing the Twits in question from simply posting on their own Twitter account in response to anything PDJT has tweeted. What they are being denied is the ability to dump all over the President’s twitter and get hundreds of thousands of free views. Go build your own follower list and participate in the interactive space with your own trolls. Problem solved. Case closed.

I’m in agreement with Milhouse (lol now he is reconsidering his argument) although I wish he was less abrasive about being right.

But you know what would be hillarious? If Trump decided to just national Twitter.

“You have been blocked due to national security concerns that you are not cleared to be to know”.

Lol

    Milhouse in reply to Fen. | May 23, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    Did you mean nationalize? Because he can’t do that. Just as Truman couldn’t nationalize the steel mills. We are not the USSR.

Sure he can. And your lawsuit is dismissed because redacted redacted redacted due to national security super classified reasons.

Easy Tiger I’m just having fun with this. Definitely Heinlein’s “crazy years”.

After reading all of these posts then, I see that the judge has, based on case law, decided that the President’s twitter account is a public forum despite the fact that it is intended to be used as an electronic billboard. The President, in other words, is forbidden to advertise via his twitter account.

After the recent MS-13 fiasco (not to mention SPYGATE), it is abundantly clear that the President has no viable method to communicate with his supporters.

Just peachy; everybody has first amendment rights except the President and his supporters. They (those Trumpoloes) will be subjected the the jeers, the derision and misinformation from the President’s enemies. They are now a captive audience who must listen to any idiot with a twitter account.

The judge gets to decide if its a billboard or a public forum. The judge gets to decide that the President cannot communicate.

    Milhouse in reply to MSO. | May 24, 2018 at 12:16 am

    After reading all of these posts then, I see that the judge has, based on case law, decided that the President’s twitter account is a public forum despite the fact that it is intended to be used as an electronic billboard.

    No, she did not. She decided that the interactive space connected with his account, which is intended to be used by his followers, is a public forum.

    The President, in other words, is forbidden to advertise via his twitter account.

    Bullsh*t. There is no way you could possibly have arrived at that conclusion. Even if his feed itself were a public forum, which it is not, he could still post there. And even if for some reason he couldn’t, he could still open a personal account, or just take back from government control the one he already has, and use it to advertise anything he likes. He just couldn’t use it to conduct government business and perform official acts of his office, or have government officials running it for him in their official capacity (they could still do it on their own time).

    everybody has first amendment rights except the President and his supporters.

    More bullsh*t. Trump and his supporters have exactly the same rights as everyone else.

      MSO in reply to Milhouse. | May 24, 2018 at 12:34 am

      You’re taking the easy way out. An electronic billboard promotes an idea or program and the choir sings the refrain. The electronic billboard is not a public forum where Trump presents an idea and everybody else shoots it down as the judge has ordered his twitter account to be.

      There is a philosophy that guides Trump’s actions; Trump needs to promote that philosophy and a philosophy cannot be promoted to a skeptical audience if misleading commentary and distortions are interlaced with his sermon.

      That is where the judge is wrong; somebody who wants to learn the philosophy cannot because so much contamination is introduced in a public forum. We need a classroom, an electronic billboard. That is what this judged has refused to the President.

        Milhouse in reply to MSO. | May 24, 2018 at 5:04 pm

        You keep ignoring the fact that this is not a personal account. He can establish one of those and operate it however he likes. Or he can take this one back into his personal control, stop using it for official acts, and stop using government staff to run it, and then he can run it however he likes. But so long as it is a government-run account with a space where the general public is invited to interact, it must be open to opponents as well as supporters.

        Think about Trump’s political rallies. Since he held them in private venues he could eject protesters while allowing his supporters to cheer whenever they liked. But if he held a rally in a public park (without renting it for his private use) then he could not do that.

Gremlin1974 | May 24, 2018 at 3:24 am

My only though on this is that is kind of pisses me off that a court that is supported by my tax dollars actually took the time to even consider this abject stupidity.

    Aarradin in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 24, 2018 at 4:13 am

    Don’t you want to relentlessly torment a few elected D’s, and then sue them when they block you?

    Has to be at least a few of them out there that have annoyed you enough to motivate that…

According to this ruling, does this now make every Tweet by the President or any other government an official record that must now be managed according to the requirements concerning record management? What about any retweets, responses, and so forth, are they also now official records?

    willow in reply to Cleetus. | May 24, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    I have not seen an answer to your query. If a camera were to follow President Trump all day where he expressed all of the thoughts he does on Twitter, except here, he expresses them on camera, no one would have the ability to have an interactive type of response. Twitter has allowed the President, as well as any future President, or any government official, to speak his or her mind in real time. The interactive forum, therefore, allows anyone to respond to the thoughts of the official as if literally following the individual around. I saw the question posed a couple of times and maybe I missed the answer: What official business is the President conducting on Twitter? He is not officially held to the content of his tweets. The judge here has defined the interactive space as a public forum. I wonder, not in a condescending way, how familiar the judge was with Twitter prior to the case? Does experience with Twitter help determine whether a judge defines the interactive space as a protected forum? I do not use Twitter, have never held a Twitter account, and find the whole issue fascinating here. I hope he appeals and we get another perspective.

      willow in reply to willow. | May 24, 2018 at 3:28 pm

      Oh, I composed my comment all by myself, without seeking advice from my hubby. Scouts honor, Commenter who knows my reference.

      Ragspierre in reply to willow. | May 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      “The interactive forum, therefore, allows anyone to respond to the thoughts of the official as if literally following the individual around.”

      Well, it CAN. The issue at bar was following the issues raised responding to the “thoughts”.

      “He is not officially held to the content of his tweets.”

      I dunno what this bogus distinction is meant to show. ANY POTUS isn’t “officially ” held to anything they say in a speech or other public forum. They certainly CAN and should be held to a rational and political consequence of anything they say publicly.

    Milhouse in reply to Cleetus. | May 24, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Not “according to this ruling”. That was already the case, as you would have seen if you had read my excerpting of the relevant part of the decision above.

    The National Archives and Records Administration has advised the White House that the President’s tweets [email protected] […] are official records that must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act. […]

    (2) “that the President’s tweets [email protected] . . . are official records that must be preserved under the Presidential Records Act,”; see 44 U.S.C. § 2201(2) (defining “Presidential records” as those created “in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President”);

“The judge declined to issue an order because she has no power to order an Article II executive to do anything.”

    Milhouse in reply to Aarradin. | May 24, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    That is obvious arrant nonsense. Judges enjoin the executive from breaking the law literally all the time, and the executive is bound to obey those injunctions. Consider only the Great Writ, which in this country is issued on the court’s own authority, and binds the executive officer to whom it is issued, even that be the president himself.

There are at least 2 different twitter accounts Trump uses.

@POTUS
– Official twitter account for the President
– Previously controlled by Barack Obama
– Owned by the government
– Not the property of Donald Trump
– To be used by Mike Pence starting 2025 😉

@realDonalTrump
– Personal account belonging to Donald J. Trump
– Controlled and owned by Donald J. Trump since 2009
– Will continue to be used by Donald J. Trump after 2025
– Did I say it’s a personal account?

    healthguyfsu in reply to Exiliado. | May 24, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I read enough of this 75 page assinine document to know that this is all about @RealDonaldTrump and not @POTUS.

    Milhouse in reply to Exiliado. | May 24, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    It was a personal account. Since he took office it has not been. Here’s a simple question for you: Who is Daniel Scavino? If you do not know the answer you have no right to comment on this topic, because you will have shown yourself to know nothing about it.

      Exiliado in reply to Milhouse. | May 26, 2018 at 11:29 am

      It is not up to you to decide who has a right to comment on a topic or not.
      And it is extremely childish to make ASSumptions on what other people know.

      Exiliado in reply to Milhouse. | May 26, 2018 at 11:30 am

      And it is not up to you, or to this libtard judge to confiscate Donald Trump’s PERSONAL twitter account.

Tell the judge to hold her phucking breath and to pound sand.

Would it comply with the judge’s ruling if Trump created a Twitter account realDonaldTrump2, put the current block list from realDonaldTrump on realDonaldTrump2, removed his block list from realDonaldTrump, and always posted identical tweets to realDonaldTrump and realDonaldTrump2?

    healthguyfsu in reply to ecreegan. | May 24, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Common sense would tell me yes if he didn’t have any help from WH staff in doing so.

    Seems a waste of his time. I still think any politician can be subject to this same ruling if they use any staffers to run their account. I bet most of them do.

    This is a can of worms, opened.

    Another interesting thing to me is that the character limits would make it difficult to include the disclaimer language required to make his tweets personal.

OleDirtyBarrister | May 24, 2018 at 11:14 am

What do you people think you are doing disagreeing with Milhouse?

Don’t you know he is the seminal pretend legal expert and poseur on the internet?

No one pretends to know more about law on the internet than him.

How dare you unwashed philistines question his pretend expertise!

    Ragspierre in reply to OleDirtyBarrister. | May 24, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I’ve seen a lot more good commentary from Milhouse than from you, including on legal issues.

    He makes no pretense at being an attorney, but he’s right a lot of the time. What expertise he has he earned the same way any lawyer does, and he’s no poseur. He never pretended any credentials to make himself more an authority to bolster his facts and arguments.

    You might want to mount an argument instead of a bullshit attack.

If would agree with the judge if the ruling was only about the @POTUS account, because that is the official account of the President, but the @realDonaldTrump account is a personal account and the real Donald Trump is a citizen with all the rights of other citizens.

    Ragspierre in reply to CaptTee. | May 24, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Well, the court here ruled that it isn’t a “personal account” in this narrow context. You can disagree, but you are wrong, IMNHO.

    I think any future appeals will uphold this holding.

    But we’ll see.

    You are kinda right about your assertion that ANY POTUS has the same basic rights any of do. But the decision here isn’t about POTUS’s right to speak. It IS about others rights to listen and respond to both POTUS and all the others in the crowd.

Unknown3rdParty | May 24, 2018 at 4:58 pm

They can’t have it both ways. Recently, a high school senior in Hillsboro, OR file suit against his high school (Liberty HS, sadly enough) that they wouldn’t let him wear a “Build the Wall T-shirt that supported Trump, noting that a teacher had a poster supporting sanctuary cities; he was required to remove it, cover it up or go home on suspension. Yet this so-called judge rules that Trump must not be allowed to block anybody on his Twitter feed on his personal device??

I can walk down the street; I hear obscenities everywhere, and the content on some T-shirts and, in some cases, in what barely passes for clothing, yet I don’t have to accept it. And neither should Trump, given the vileness of those who oppose him.

    Milhouse in reply to Unknown3rdParty. | May 24, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Will you just stop and listen to yourself? You’re babbling. You report that Addison Barnes filed suit against his school, alleging that it violated his constitutional rights. That is exactly what the plaintiffs in this case did. So what’s your problem here?

    What do you expect will be the disposition of Barnes’s case? Assuming his account of the facts to be accurate, do you have any reason at all to suppose it will not be upheld? Indeed, continuing the same assumption, do you seriously imagine it will even go to trial? Again assuming his account to be truthful, I have little doubt that as soon as the school district’s lawyer lays eyes on this suit he will advise them to settle it quickly.

    Ragspierre in reply to Unknown3rdParty. | May 24, 2018 at 6:43 pm

    You’re (kinda understandably) conflating lots of things that really are very rationally understood to be disparate and distingusihed.

    By reading this thread, you can break down the things that confuse you about free speech and its limitations.

    The case in question in the root article is about kicking open free expression, not ever limiting any POTUS’s ability to say stuff on twatter or anywhere else.

I hope President Donald ignores this judge’s ruling and bans whomever he wishes from commenting to his posts .

Just as I ignore the douchebags who come on this site to bark their legal pronouncements through ten million posts to drive their ridiculously aggressive contrarian ego.

The judge is an idiot, a perfect idiot, immediately. There is no point in slogging through an idiot judge’s ruling. Thank you for posting them, but no thank you. That is your legal thoroughness.

* by preventing certain Americans from viewing his tweets

*in response to the political views that person has expressed

Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. And she presumes to be a judge. And presumes to Judge Trump.

Nobody is stopped from viewing Trump’s tweets, Idiot Spittle Drooling Judge.

And they’re blocked from commenting not simply because their political views are different, rather, because they’re MASSIVE PAINS IN THE ASS, gumming up every single post. Mentally deranged, just like here in these comments. Idiot Bugger Eating Judge.

And she’s definitely NOT the boss of Trump. She can just p|ss right along.

I want to see Trump ignore her. That is justice. I want Trump to block every noisy mong loser clamorous for attention who interferes just because Twitter allows it. Like here.

While allowing it is no problem in either place, Twitter or here. The cacophony of losers on Twitter are behind Trump’s posts. The entire string is ignored. Just like with these comments, scroll past the longest posts and completely ignore those same head-bangings here. I haven’t a clue what you took so much time and thought and effort to say, Clamorous Flouncing Attention Grabbing Lawyer Dope. La la la.

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