Judge Suggests Trump Mute Rather Than Block Twitter Users

A federal judge expressed skepticism on Wednesday as to whether President Donald Trump can constitutionally block people on his Twitter account—entertaining the notion that the social media platform is a public forum akin to a public town hall, where government officials can't silence speakers with opposing views. "Once it is a public forum, you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying," U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said. Trump’s attorney, Michael Baer, countered the judge’s question by comparing the president blocking someone on Twitter to walking away from someone at an event. Baer also argued that Trump’s tweets do not qualify as "state action,” to which the plaintiffs responded that the account operates in an “official capacity” by announcing “policies or policy proposals.” The issue is at stake in a lawsuit filed by seven Twitter users, who say their constitutional rights were violated when Trump blocked them. It is not clear when the Manhattan federal court will rule on the issue.