Colorado newspaper advocate hails ruling on Trump Twitter blocks

Colorado Politics: Wednesday’s federal court ruling saying it’s unconstitutional for President Donald Trump to block his critics on Twitter cheers the head of a trade and advocacy group representing Colorado newspapers.

It isn’t so much about politics but about the concept of freedom of speech, Jerry Raehal, president of the Colorado Press Association, told Colorado Politics Wednesday.

“It’s about the ability for citizens of the United States to speak for or against government action,” Raehal explained. “If politicians are utilizing Twitter accounts for political purposes, that is a forum where people should be able to speak.”

The ruling from U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan said that it violates the constitution for Trump and his communications staff to block critics on Twitter just because he or they disagree with the political views espoused by his detractors.

Buchwald’s “declaratory judgment” stopped short of ordering Trump and his staff to stop blocking critics, but the judge did say: “No government official — including the president — is above the law, and all government officials are presumed to follow the law as has been declared.”

Buchwald in her ruling declared that Trump’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, with over 50 million followers, is presented as a “presidential account as opposed to a personal account.”

Raehal said that if citizens can’t weigh in on a politician’s speech when that politician is talking policy, it’s not only detrimental to government input but to the discussion of our country as a whole.

Raehal called political discussions on Twitter akin to holding a rally, and in blocking people it’s like telling those who are opposed to the rally’s speaker that they should leave.

“Twitter is a public forum,” he said, adding he hopes politicians will look at the latest ruling and agree with it.

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