Campbell v. Reisch

A lawsuit challenging a state representative’s blocking of a critic on Twitter

On March 27, 2020, the Knight Institute filed an amicus brief in Campbell v. Reisch, a case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit is considering a First Amendment challenge to a Missouri state representative’s blocking of a critic on Twitter.

Representative Cheri Reisch blocked Mike Campbell from her Twitter account after Campbell retweeted a tweet that was critical of Reisch. The Knight Institute’s amicus brief argues that the Eighth Circuit should analyze Campbell’s claim as two other federal appeals courts have analyzed similar claims: by determining first whether the official used her Twitter account as an extension of her office, and second whether she opened the account to expression by the public at large.

Status: In a 2-1 decision, the court held that Representative Cheri Reisch did not violate the First Amendment when she blocked individuals from her Twitter account because, in the majority’s view, the account was “used overwhelmingly for campaign purposes,” not for her official duties. Plaintiff's petition for rehearing en banc was denied on March 3, 2021.

Case Information: Campbell v. Reisch, No. 19-2994 (8th Cir.).


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