Ken Paxton Sued for Blocking Followers on Twitter
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is once again making headlines for legal trouble. This time he's being sued by a group of individuals that say he infringed on their rights by blocking them on Twitter.
The Texas Tribune and others report the lawsuit is brought in part by Columbia University's Knight First Amendment Institute, which, according to their website, ". . . promote a system of free expression that is open and inclusive, that broadens and elevates public discourse, and that fosters creativity, accountability, and effective self-government."
The Knight First Amendment Institute says they are speaking up for 9 people who claim to have been blocked on Twitter by Ken Paxton after they made comments on his posts he didn't like. The Twitter account in question, @KenPaxtonTX, is one used by Paxton, but it's not the official Twitter account of the Texas Attorney General's Office, @XTAG.
The lawsuit against Paxton claims that although @KenPaxtonTX is not an official government account, he still uses it to, ". . . make official announcements, comment on local issues and defend his policies.” Because of this, the lawsuit says that @KenPaxtonTX should be subject to the same rules as a government account.
The lawsuit goes even further, claiming that by blocking constituents from seeing information from @KenPaxtonTX, the attorney general is infringing on First Amendment rights and preventing access to important information that would otherwise be public.
In 2019, a federal appeals court did touch on this issue in a lawsuit that was also brought by The Knight First Amendment Institute and ruled that President Trump was in violation of the First Amendment for blocking certain Twitter followers while using the POTUS Twitter account, but the case never made it to the Supreme Court before Trump’s term had already ended.
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