On July 31, 2020, the Knight Institute filed a second lawsuit in federal court against President Trump and his staff for continuing to block critics from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. This lawsuit is a follow-up to the Knight Institute’s first lawsuit on behalf of seven individuals who had been blocked from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account. In the original lawsuit, a federal judge ruled that the White House’s blocking of those individuals violated the First Amendment. The Second Circuit affirmed that decision.
Although the White House unblocked the plaintiffs who filed the original suit as well as others on whose behalf the Knight Institute requested unblocking, it has continued to block two categories of individuals: those who cannot identify the specific tweet that prompted their blocking, and those blocked before President Trump’s inauguration. The lawsuit maintains that the White House’s continued blocking of these two categories of individuals violates the First Amendment.
Status: Dismissed on April 16, 2021.
Case Information: Knight First Amendment Inst. at Columbia Univ. v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-05958 (S.D.N.Y.).