Trump set up his Twitter account in 2009 and while acting as president in May and June of 2017, he blocked seven individuals who had expressed displeasure with him.
Lawyers at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University sued on behalf of the individuals, saying that Trump’s action violated his First Amendment rights.
In court papers, he stated that the president’s account, @realDonaldTrump, “serves as an official source of news and information about the government, and as a forum for speeches by and about the president.”
A district court said the then president’s action to block followers violated the First Amendment rights of individuals because it excluded them from a public forum based on their point of view – an appeals court later confirmed.
Then-Solicitor General Jeff Wall asked the Supreme Court to take up the case, arguing that Trump’s account is personal, even if it was sometimes run by his assistant Dan Squino.
“Ignoring the important distinction between Twitter’s (sometimes) official statements and its ever-personal decision to block respondents from its own account,” Wall argued, the lower court’s opinion was “state action and private conduct. Blames the line between – this court took care to implement the First Amendment, keeping in mind the repeated and recent teachings. “
This story has been updated with additional information.