On this week’s episode of Versus Trump, Easha, Jason, and Charlie dive into the merits of a lawsuit brought by Twitter users who have been blocked by @realDonaldTrump. They claim the President's blocking violates the First Amendment.
The episode begins with an explanation of the case, including what the plaintiffs said on Twitter to get themselves blocked, what the effects of the President's Twitter block are, and the general rules of the road under the First Amendment. We then [at 16:00] dive into a deep debate about whether the President's tweets and actions using the @realDonaldTrump account is definitely government action, or whether he might be doing this tweeting and blocking in his personal capacity. It gets feisty! After that, we move on [at 35:00] to the constitutional effects of the block itself.
The episode concludes [at 46:00] with a couple of Trump nuggets.
As usual, you can listen online below, and subscribe here with any podcast player or here in iTunes.
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- The Knight Institute’s case page for this case is here. The Complaint is here.
- Amanda Shanor has written about this case multiple times on Take Care, including here and here.
- We repeatedly discussed the decision in Davison v. Loudon County. The decision is here, and a Slate article about it is here. (An unintentionally funny press release by the County that valiantly tries to spin a clear loss into a win is here.)
- Noah Feldman's argument that Trump's Twitter blocking isn't government action is here. Eugene Volokh's similar argument is here.
- We talked about Rosenberger v. Rector & Visitors of Univ. of Va., in which Justice Kennedy introduces the notion of the metaphysical public forum, and Heffernan v. City of Paterson, which stands for the proposition that the First Amendment prohibits even government action that has no effect on an individual's free speech rights.
- Trump Nuggets: Here's Buzzfeed on Steve Bannon infiltrating Facebook, and here's excerpts of what Coach Popovich said about Trump.