A U.S. judge in New York ruled Wednesday that President Donald Trump can't block his critics from making snarky remarks about him and his policies in response to his barrage of tweets on Twitter.
Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that critics responding to Trump on the popular social media outlet were entitled to voice their opinions, and that if Trump were to block them he would be violating the country's constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech.
She said the "interactive space" where Twitter users can directly respond to Trump's daily comments on issues large and small falls under "the 'public forum' doctrines set forth by the Supreme Court." Buchwald said blocking Trump's critics would curb political speech and constitutes "viewpoint discrimination" in violation of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.
One of the seven Trump critics, whose accounts were blocked and who then sued, posted a short video of Pope Francis glancing at Trump with a troubled expression, above which she wrote, "This is pretty much how the whole world sees you."
That comment is tame by comparison with how many critics respond to the half dozen or more tweets that Trump posts most days.
As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his yearlong investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election aimed at helping Trump win and whether he obstructed justice to thwart the probe, his critics regularly picture Trump and his family in prison garb or handcuffs or post cartoons belittling him.
Trump supporters paint a different picture with their comments, depicting him as an American hero headed to re-election in 2020.