FAN 181 (First Amendment News) Tomorrow: Argument in S. Dist. N.Y. Ct. — Lawsuit Challenging President’s Blocking of Critics on Twitter
President Trump’s Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, has become an important source of news and information about the government, and an important public forum for speech by, to, and about the President. In an effort to suppress dissent in this forum, Defendants have excluded—“blocked”—Twitter users who have criticized the President or his policies. This practice is unconstitutional, and this suit seeks to end it.
— Complaint: Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump
This from the Knight First Amendment Institute: Tomorrow, March 8 at 11 a.m., “the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the U.S. Department of Justice will present oral argument in the Knight Institute’s landmark First Amendment challenge to President Trump’s blocking of critics on Twitter. The argument, which is open to the public, will be held before the Hon. Naomi Reice Buchwald at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse in New York City.”
“Last July, the Knight Institute filed suit in the Southern District of New York contending that the @realDonaldTrump account is a “public forum” under the First Amendment and that the president and his subordinates are violating the Constitution by blocking people from the account simply because they have criticized the president or his policies. The suit also contends that the Trump administration is violating the plaintiffs’ First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances.”
“The Institute and the Trump administration filed motions for summary judgment in the lawsuit last fall, and this Thursday, Judge Buchwald will hear argument from both parties.”
→ Counsel for Knight Institute: Jameel Jaffer, the Knight Institute’s executive director, and Katie Fallow, a senior staff attorney at the Institute, will argue before the court, and several plaintiffs in the lawsuit will be in attendance.
→ For more information about the lawsuit, including the latest filings, go here.
Related: This from First Amendment Watch: President Trump, Other Elected Officials Block ‘Disliked’ Twitter Followers, March 3, 2018
Headline: “Haling The First Amendment: NYC Taxi Authority’s Ad Ban Struck Down”
Over at Forbes, Glenn Lammi writes: Taxicab, livery, black car, and limousine companies in the Big Apple may own the vehicles their employees drive, but they know full well who really controls them: the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). Passenger transportation is one of the city’s most heavily regulated businesses, but as a federal district court judge recently reminded TLC, those small business still have constitutional rights.”
“. . . In 2015, media-distribution company Vugo sought to partner with Uber, Lift, and other rideshare company drivers in New York City. Those drivers would download Vugo software onto a tablet device that would be displayed to riders. Vugo would pay each driver 60% of the ad revenue generated from their tablets. Because ridesharing falls into the “other” category of TLC-regulated for-hire vehicles, and TLC made it clear that it would not approve any rideshare drivers’ requests for interior advertising, Vugo could not proceed with its expansion plans. In response, Vugo filed a First Amendment challenge against TLC in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.”
New First Amendment Group — Speech First Read More