Knight Institute v. Paxton
Melinda Beck

Knight Institute v. Paxton

A lawsuit challenging Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s blocking of critics on Twitter

On April 8, 2021, the Knight Institute and the ACLU of Texas filed a lawsuit in federal court against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for blocking constituents from his @KenPaxtonTX Twitter account based on the viewpoints they expressed.

The lawsuit maintains that Attorney General Paxton’s Twitter account is a “public forum” under the First Amendment, from which state officials may not exclude people based simply on their views. It also claims that Attorney General Paxton is violating the nine individual plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to petition their government, and that by purging critics from the account, he is depriving those who remain in the public forum the opportunity to hear critical voices.

Status: On July 9, 2021, the parties filed a joint stipulation of dismissal without prejudice based on Attorney General Paxton's commitment to cease blocking users based on viewpoint.

Case Information: Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia Univ. v. Paxton, No. 1:21-cv-307 (W.D. Tex.).

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