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Court rejects Trump's ongoing fight to block critics on Twitter

Trump will have to allow dissenters to see his posts, at least for now.
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|March 23, 2020 11:49 AM

President Trump's attempt to overturn a ruling that prevents him from blocking Twitter critics has been shot down -- at least for now. An appeals court has denied the Trump administration's request for a review of the decision after a majority of judges decided a review wasn't necessary. Circuit Judge Barrington Parker described the original decision as a "straightforward application" of existing actions and precedent. If Trump is going to use his personal Twitter account for official statements (and he does), that account becomes a public forum where critics are allowed to voice their disagreements.

It's not clear how Trump's team will respond. He may face stiff odds if he tries to take the case to the Supreme Court, though, as Judge Parker cited Supreme Court examples when rejecting Trump's request for a review.

The denial will likely have implications across the aisle when Democrat House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ran into similar trouble. The appeals court decision will still allow blocking users for harassment and threats, but it may force politicians to think very carefully about how they use their personal accounts. Like it or not, they may have to accept angry people in their mentions.

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