Democrat Rep. Steve Cohen Possibly Breaking Law for Blocking People on Twitter

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One could argue U.S. Rep Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) breaks the law every time he blocks someone on Twitter who speaks up against him.

A federal judge, for instance, said it’s unconstitutional for U.S. President Donald Trump to do the same thing.

There is legal precedent to say the same rules apply to Cohen.

Cohen, like Trump, is an elected federal official.

No one in Cohen’s office returned repeated requests for comment Tuesday.

“Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald, addressing a novel issue about how the Constitution applies to social media platforms and public officials, found that the president’s Twitter feed is a public forum,” according to The New York Times.

“As a result, she ruled that when Mr. Trump or an aide blocked seven plaintiffs from viewing and replying to his posts, he violated the First Amendment.”

The newspaper said the ruling would have implications far beyond Trump and his Twitter feed.

“Public officials throughout the country, from local politicians to governors and members of Congress, regularly use social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to interact with the public about government business,” the newspaper said.

“This ruling should put them on notice, and if they censor critics from social media accounts used for official purposes, they run the risk that someone will sue them and win,” Jameel Jaffer, the Knight First Amendment Institute’s executive director, told the paper.

In her ruling on the matter, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald said no government official is above the law and all government officials are expected to abide by it.

As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Cohen has blocked several people on Twitter, including the parody page in the name of Sean Spicier.

This happened after Spicier mocked Cohen’s endorsement of U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke in Texas.

Twitchy reported that Cohen “blocks anyone with a pulse who disagrees with him.”

The author of the Twitchy piece then noted Cohen blocked her on Twitter months ago.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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