The Latest: Twitter ruling disappoints Justice Department

Political
Donald Trump

President Donald Trump listens to reporter’s questions as he waits for the arrival Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the White House, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on a federal court ruling that President Donald Trump can’t ban critics from his Twitter account (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The Justice Department says it is exploring possible next steps after a federal appeals court ruled President Donald Trump can’t ban critics from his Twitter account.

Justice Department spokesperson Kelly Laco said Tuesday that the agency is disappointed with the decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

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

But Laco says in an email that “President Trump’s decision to block users from his personal twitter account does not violate the First Amendment.”

The Knight First Amendment Institute brought the case. A staff attorney says about 75 individuals have been unblocked since the ruling.

Attorney Katie Fallow says another 30 or so remain blocked, in part because the Justice Department has required individuals to cite the offending tweet.

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10:30 a.m.

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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