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Supreme Court dismisses Donald Trump Twitter followers case – Deadline

The Supreme Court ordered a lower court to initiate legal action over whether Donald Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking subscribers to his then active Twitter account.

Lower court rulings had found such actions violated the First Amendment, but judges ruled the case moot because Trump is no longer president and no longer an official. The ordered the previous judgments quashed.

Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, which carried the case, said in a statement: “While we would have liked the Supreme Court to leave the Second Circuit decision on the books, we are pleased that the reasoning Court of Appeal has already been adopted by other courts and we are confident that it will continue to shape the way public officials use social media. “

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A district court ruled in 2018 that Trump’s Twitter account was a “public forum” and that his blocking of followers violated the First Amendment because it was based on opinion and point of view. An appeals court upheld the decision in July 2019 and the Trump administration appealed to the Supreme Court. The day before the inauguration, they asked the judges to dismiss the case as moot and overturn the decision.

Trump’s Twitter account was suspended following the siege on Capitol Hill, which Judge Clarence Thomas noted in a concurring opinion. He weighed in on the power of big tech over speech, though that’s not the nature of the matter.

“The Second Circuit was concerned that then-President Trump would interrupt the speech using the features Twitter was making available to them,” Thomas wrote. “But if the goal is to ensure that speech isn’t hushed up, then the most glaring concern has to be the dominant digital platforms themselves. As Twitter has made clear, the right to cut the word is mostly in the hands of private digital platforms. The extent to which this power matters for the purposes of the First Amendment and the extent to which this power could legally be changed raise interesting and important questions. This petition, unfortunately, gives us no opportunity to confront them.

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