After a federal court ruled Donald Trump could not constitutionally block people on Twitter, Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was threatened with a lawsuit for allegedly doing the same.
The court found Mr Trump’s blocking infringed on first amendment rights to free speech and that people had a right to see his posts, reply to his tweets, and send him messages.
The second circuit court of appeals stated that because Mr Trump uses a non-private Twitter account to communicate with the public about his administration and its policies, blocking violated a constitutional free speech protection as it was deemed government discrimination against specific viewpoints.
The court affirmed the designation of Mr Trump’s Twitter account as a “public forum”.
Former Democratic New York assemblyman Dov Hikind, then announced plans to Ms Ocasio-Cortez. Mr Hikind, who has been blocked by the freshman representative on Twitter, told Fox News he was exploring where he would be filing his suit and if there would be any other plaintiffs.
In an email to Fox News, Mr Hikind stated: “Most likely we will be [the] only plaintiff, but [we will be] citing other examples.”
He added: “The claim is [the] same as [the] one against Trump. She uses that account for political/policy commentary, so to shut a citizen off from her statements is a problem – as well as blocking me from petitioning her or seeking redress.”
Mr Hikind is referring to how the court designated Mr Trump’s @RealDonaldTrump account an official account, despite Mr Trump’s claim the feed was private. While he has an official government @POTUS account, Mr Trump uses his personal feed to make policy announcements and social commentary.
Similarly, Ms Ocasio-Cortez maintains two Twitter feeds, her personal, non-government, active @AOC account and her official, rarely used @RepAOC account.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez has also allegedly blocked conservative journalists who had replied to her tweets including One America News Network’s Liz Wheeler and The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra.
Mr Hikind has encouraged other people blocked by Ms Ocasio-Cortez to come forward via Twitter, perhaps to find additional plaintiffs in the case.
He tweeted on Tuesday: “If you or anyone you know has been blocked by @AOC please get in touch with me ASAP!”