On July 9, 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the First Amendment prohibits the government from blocking social media users from accessing the Twitter account @realDonaldTrump. See Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University v. Trump, — F.3d –, 2019 WL 2932440 (2d Cir. July 9, 2019).
The Court noted that President Trump “concedes that he blocked the Individual Plaintiffs because they posted tweets that criticized him or his policies,” and “that such criticism is protected speech.” However, the government contended that when the President took that action “he was exercising control over a private, personal account,” the character of which had not changed since it had been opened as a social media platform in 2009 to share opinions on popular culture, world affairs, and politics. The government further argued that the Twitter account is not a public forum or, in the alternative, if the Court were to find that the account was a public forum, that blocking the individual plaintiffs “did not prevent them from accessing the forum.”