Federal Judge Demands Ocasio-Cortez Testify On Why She Blocked Twitter Users

September 30, 2019   |   by James G. Dalton

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being dragged into federal court to explain why she is blocking detractors on Twitter.

A federal judge has demanded that the 29-year-old comes to court to answer for a lawsuit that alleges that she is violating the First Amendment rights of those she blocks, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

U.S. District Judge Frederic Block asked for the congresswoman’s testimony during a Thursday hearing in a Brooklyn federal court.

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After accepting evidence and hearing witness testimony, the judge said the hearing would continue when he could hear from Ocasio-Cortez.

The plaintiff is former Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Jewish community leader who criticized the freshman Democrat for comparing migrant detention facilities at the border with concentration camps. Hikind alleges the congresswoman blocked him because of his tweet.

“AOC’s actions violate the First Amendment rights of Mr. Hikind, others like Mr. Hikind, and those who follow the @AOC account and are now deprived of their right to read the speech of the dissenters who have been blocked,” he said in his complaint.

Her attorneys, Joseph Sandler and David Mitrani of Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, said that her conduct is consistent with the rules of Congress.

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“We are pleased that at [Thursday’s] hearing the court provided both sides a full and fair opportunity to present the facts regarding the use of the two separate Twitter accounts by the congresswoman – one that is for her official use (@repaoc) and the other for her campaign/personal use (@AOC),” they said.

“Significantly, we were able to bring the court’s attention to the House rules that put up a solid wall between social media accounts used for official purposes and those used for campaign/personal purposes – and to other very significant differences between the use of congresswoman’s personal/campaign account and the clearly official Trump account that was the subject of a court ruling precluding the president from blocking followers on that account,” they said.

But the Knight First Amendment Institute warned the representative in a letter on Aug. 28, 2019 that having both accounts was not an excuse for blocking Twitter users.

“While we understand that you have another account that is nominally your ‘official’ one, the fact remains that you use the @AOC account as an extension of your office,” it said.

“Notably, the 2nd Circuit rejected President Trump’s argument that his account is a personal one even though he has other accounts – @POTUS and @WhiteHouse – that are nominally official,” it said.

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It was in July when a federal judge decided that President Donald Trump could not block Twitter users from his personal account, The New York Times reported.

President Trump has been violating the Constitution by blocking people from following his Twitter account because they criticized or mocked him, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The ruling could have broader implications for how the First Amendment applies to the social-media era.

Because Mr. Trump uses Twitter to conduct government business, he cannot exclude some Americans from reading his posts – and engaging in conversations in the replies to them – because he does not like their views, a three-judge panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, ruled unanimously.

The ruling was one of the highest-profile court decisions yet in a growing constellation of cases addressing what the First Amendment means in a time when political expression increasingly takes place online. It is also a time, Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote, when government conduct is subject to a “wide-open, robust debate” that “generates a level of passion and intensity the likes of which have rarely been seen.”

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via thefederalistpapers

Recent Comments

  1. James

    Reply
    September 30, 2019 @ 2:53 pm

    Free speech, as guaranteed in the First Amendment, must apply to EVERYONE, whether or not you like what they have to say. Even President Trump, OAC, or John Doe. You should be able to speak your mind without hecklers or censure or negative comments. This should also apply to social media. However, if you include others (such as quotes or re-tweets) that are favorable and support your position, you must also allow for others that are critical. Simply put, you either allow everyone to comment, or no one to comment.

  2. C. Gatiesa

    Reply
    September 30, 2019 @ 3:34 pm

    AOC should be back serving drinks in a bar instead of in Congress. The woman -if can qualify as a homo-sapiens- an ignorant and imbecile should be send yo Venezuela or Cuba, where her ideas will be welcoming.

    • KATHYKOOL

      Reply
      September 30, 2019 @ 11:38 pm

      I AGREE. AOC NEEDS TO GO BACK AND BE A BAR MAID. SHE IS A IMBECILE AND A IDIOT. AND THE 4 IN THE SQUAD SHOULD BE FIRED. THE WAY THEY DONT LIKE TRUMP THEY SHOULD NOT BE IN CONGRESS. NOW THERE SELLING SHIRTS THAT READ IMPEACH TRUMP GET RID OF THE MOTHERFU–ER. THEY NEED TO GET OUT OF CONGRESS AND HAVE THEM INVESTAGATED.THERE 4 DISGRACEFUL WOMEN IN CONGRESS NO RESPECT FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP HIS OFFICE AND OUR COUNTRY WE DONT NEED THESE 4 2YR CONGRESSWOMEN. THERE BRAINS ARE WERE THE SUNSHINES. THERE TRYING TO MAKE OUR COUNTRY SOCIALISM. GOT NEWS FOR THEM THIS IS A CAPITALISM. TRUMP IN 2020.

  3. Burt Packard

    Reply
    September 30, 2019 @ 4:57 pm

    Same a Biden if they don’t like what is being discussed they want censorship. Same as the Communists , They are taking a long walk off a short pier

  4. Dr. Ray Heidt

    Reply
    September 30, 2019 @ 6:39 pm

    Hey AOC — You go, girl! Giv em Hell, –:) Hit em where it hurtz 🙂

    • KATHYKOOL

      Reply
      September 30, 2019 @ 11:40 pm

      DR RAY YOUR JUST AS STUPID AS THE SQUAD. NOT HAPPY WITH OUR PRESIDENT TRUMP THEN LEAVE THE COUNTRY YOU WONT BE MISSED.

  5. Jill

    Reply
    September 30, 2019 @ 9:21 pm

    AOC and her ideas should make people afraid. You’re not really listening or seeing the big picture if AOC and politicians just like her don’t make you worry. She’s got the look of a psychopath, blank behind the eyes.

  6. RealistNW

    Reply
    September 30, 2019 @ 9:37 pm

    Maybe she needs to take acting lessons from Greta Thornberg’s parents. Obviously the organization Justice Democrats that has promoted her failed miserably.

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