Judge Suggests Mute Button for Trump Twitter Lawsuit
In the Trump Twitter-Blocking case, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald was hoping the President would settle by muting unfriendly users rather than blocking them.
The plaintiffs sued the president last year after he blocked them from commenting on his Twitter page. They claim Trump violated their free speech rights on a public forum.
The president's lawyers argue it is not a public forum, and that he has the right to associate with people as he chooses. The judge is pushing the pause button while they consider her mute proposal, but wait, haven't we seen this movie?
Since he ran for the White House, Trump has become more famous for his Tweets than for his television show. His Twitter comments have become key evidence in high-profile cases, including his controversial travel bans.
They have risen to the level of "official presidential statements" as evidence in more than one case. And in the Twitter-Blocking case, they raise serious constitutional questions. It would be funny if it weren't so serious.
Nick Pappas, a stand-up comic and writer blocked by the president, said he was good with the judge's mute suggestion. He didn't think Trump read his tweets anyway.
At the hearing, the judge just wanted it to go away. "Why are we here?" she asked. "Don't we have a solution that serves the interests of the plaintiffs, serves the interests of the president?"
More to Say
Naturally, the attorneys argued about it -- for two hours. Plaintiffs' counsel was amenable to the judge's solution, but the defense attorneys had more to say.
Michael Baer, a Justice Department lawyer, said the president can mute or block anyone he pleases. He compared it to a political protest, where the president could ignore protesters or even change locations.
"It is just not like the public forum cases, where the microphone is turned off," he said.
Of course, the president could also tell supporters to "knock the crap" out of protestors. We've sent that movie, too.
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