Davison v. Randall – Suit Challenging a Public Official's Act of Blocking a Resident from a Facebook Page
The Knight First Amendment Institute represented Brian Davison, a Virginia resident who was temporarily blocked from the Facebook Page of a local public official, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. There are a number of legal challenges across the country regarding public officials who have blocked individuals from social media accounts, and this was the first such lawsuit to be heard at the appellate level.
The Knight Institute had previously submitted an amicus brief in Davison v. Randall urging the Fourth Circuit court to uphold a lower court's ruling that Phyllis Randall, the Chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, violated Davison’s First Amendment rights by blocking him from a personal Facebook Page that she was using in an official capacity.
Press Statements & Commentary
- 2/25/2019: Fourth Circuit Holds that Blocking on Public Official’s Social Media Page Violates First Amendment
- 1/7/2019: Appeals Court Holds that Government Official Who Blocked Critic from Facebook Page Violated First Amendment
- 5/2/2018: Knight Institute to Represent Plaintiff in the First Social-Media-Blocking Lawsuit to Reach Appellate Court
Legal Documents (4th Cir.)
- 1/9/2019: Amended Fourth Circuit opinion
- 8/23/2018: Davison's reply to Randall's response
- 8/9/2018: Randall's response and reply to Davison's brief
- 8/9/2018: Loudon County response brief
- 7/18/2018: Amicus briefs in support of Plaintiff-Appellee
- 7/11/2018: Davison's response brief
- 6/6/2018: Randall's appeal brief