Trump blocking critics on Twitter violates Constitution - judge
By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge in New York on Wednesday ruled that President Donald Trump may not legally block Twitter users because doing so violates their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan came in response to a lawsuit filed against Trump in July by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and several Twitter users
By Brendan Pierson
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge in New York on Wednesday ruled that President Donald Trump may not legally block Twitter users because doing so violates their right to free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan came in response to a lawsuit filed against Trump in July by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and several Twitter users.
Buchwald agreed with the plaintiffs' contention that the discussions arising from Trump's tweets should be considered a public forum. She rejected an argument made by Justice Department lawyers that Trump's own First Amendment rights allowed him to block people with whom he did not wish to interact.
Trump was a prolific tweeter from his @RealDonaldTrump account even before being elected in 2016 and has since made it an integral and controversial part of his presidency. Aides reportedly have tried to rein in his tweeting, which often starts early in the morning. But he has remained unfettered and used Twitter to promote his agenda, announce policy and attack critics, especially the media, and the investigation into possible Russian connections with his campaign.
A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice, which represents the president in the case, had no immediate comment. Twitter also did not immediately comment.
The Knight Institute and the individual Twitter users claimed in their lawsuit that by blocking users for their views, Trump was shutting them out of discussion in a public forum, violating the First Amendment.
When one Twitter user blocks another, the blocked user may not respond to the blocker's tweets on the social media platform.
Media reports say among those Trump has blocked are novelists Stephen King and Anne Rice, comedian Rosie O'Donnell, model Chrissy Teigen, actress Marina Sirtis and the military veterans political action committee VoteVets.org.
In addition to Trump, the lawsuit named his social media director, Dan Scavino, as a defendant.
"While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the president’s personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him," Buchwald said.
She stopped short of directly ordering Trump to unblock users, saying it was not necessary to enter a "legal thicket" involving courts' power over the president.
"Because no government official is above the law and because all government officials are presumed to follow the law once the judiciary has said what the law is, we must assume that the President and Scavino will remedy the blocking we have held to be unconstitutional," she wrote.
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Additional reporting by David Shepherdson; Editing by Franklin Paul and Bill Trott)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Katanga Johnson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Global equities set both an intraday high and record close on Tuesday as markets as investors weighed the latest U.S. economic data for signs of a rebound and rising inflation while Wall Street's main indexes wavered before ending little changed. Graphic: Global asset performance http://tmsnrt.rs/2yaDPgn Energy shares were among the best performing during the session as the OPEC+ alliance agreed to hike output in July and gave a bullish forecast.
(Reuters) - Zoom Video Communications Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Tuesday, benefiting from steady demand for its video-conferencing platform as people wary of the pandemic continued school and work from home. Zoom became a household name during the pandemic as businesses and schools switched to its video conferencing platform for virtual classes, office meetings and social catch-ups.
By Michele Kambas NICOSIA (Reuters) -Cyprus's ruling conservatives emerged as winners but failed to get an absolute majority in a parliamentary election on Sunday, with voters turning to smaller parties, including a right-wing party with links to Greece's now outlawed Golden Dawn.