Federal court: Trump can’t ban critics from Twitter account

Politics
Donald Trump

FILE – In this Oct. 25, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump talks about drug prices during a visit to the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington. A federal judge Monday, July 8, 2019, blocked a major White House initiative on prescription drug costs, saying the Trump administration lacked the legal authority to require drugmakers to disclose their prices in TV ads. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court says President Donald Trump can’t ban critics from his Twitter account.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled Tuesday.

A three-judge panel agreed with a lower court judge who said Trump violates the First Amendment when he blocks critics.

The ruling came in a case brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University. It had sued on behalf of seven individuals blocked by Trump after criticizing his policies.

The appeals court said the First Amendment does not permit a public official using a social media account for “all manner of official purposes” to exclude people from an otherwise-open online dialogue because they disagree with the official.

Trump has over 60 million Twitter followers.

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