Federal judges ruling against Trump are setting precedents they may regret
The latest in a long series of rulings by federal judges hamstringing moves by the Trump administration already is teaching a tough but obvious lesson to judges. A precedent applies to everyone, not just to the specific defendant in the matter at hand. Yesterday:
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that President Trump is not allowed to block people on Twitter over statements he does not like, affirming a lower court's decision that declared the president's account a "public forum."
In a Tuesday decision, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals noted that because Trump uses Twitter to communicate with the public about his administration, and his account is open to the public for people to comment on his posts, it warrants constitutional free speech protection under the First Amendment.
Well, that makes Twitter, when used by a federal official, covered by First Amendment protections. So much for the discussion that Twitter might suspend or close President Trump's account, as it has done to many other conservatives' accounts.
Even better, it also enshrines the right of conservatives to respond to tweets by leftist elected officials. Within hours of the ruling:
Former Democratic New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind filed a lawsuit against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. in federal court on Tuesday for blocking users on Twitter based on their personal viewpoints, following a federal appeals court ruling earlier in the day barring President Trump from doing the same.
"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has blocked me on Twitter yesterday apparently because my critique of her tweets and policies have been too stinging," Hikind said in a statement announcing the suit, which was filed in the Eastern District of New York and obtained by Fox News.
If responding to federal officials on Twitter is protected by the First Amendment, then why not make Twitter itself respect the First Amendment rights of conservatives who respond to elected federal officials?