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Donald Trump should be allowed to block people from his Twitter feed because it is not an official government account, the president’s lawyers have re-argued in a legal appeal.
The lawyers are asking that a decision by a subset of the Second Circuit be reviewed by the entire court. Their core argument remains that the @realDonaldTrump account should not subject to the First Amendment – where he is not allowed to block access as it is a “public forum” – because it is a personal account and he is entitled to do with as he pleases.
Time - Trump - Team - Claim - District
This is the third time that Trump’s legal team has made the claim. It has been rejected twice by a district court and appeals court, each of which found that @realDonaldTrump is effectively a government account because of Trump's position as president and the fact that the account is run by official White House personnel.
There is some logic to Trump’s argument: he opened the account before he even ran as president, it is under his own name, and even if he does block someone they can still view his tweets.
Aspects - President - Donald - Trump - Distinction
But, as with many other aspects of his president, Donald Trump has refused to accept any distinction between his position as a private citizen and that of the president. As such, the @realDonaldTrump account has become synonymous with the office of president, despite the existence of the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse Twitter accounts. Trump often uses it to discuss the official business of government.
There is some additional legal argument in the filing [PDF]. It cites one case where a district attorney’s phone call to a newspaper complaining about an article about him was not seen as official state action. And another where the court decided that a government employee’s actions could not always be assumed to be on...
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