Jenner & Block

Firm Prevails in Important First Amendment Case about Twitter as a Public Forum

Serving as co-counsel with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the firm won a victory in an important case about whether a Twitter account is a “public forum” under the First Amendment.  In the lawsuit, the firm successfully argued that a Twitter account is a “public forum,” meaning that the President cannot exclude people from it because of their views.

On Wednesday, the court granted summary judgment to the firm’s pro bono clients, including the Knight Institute and individuals who had been blocked from the President’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.  Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York held that “this case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States. The answer to both questions is no.”

News of the judge’s opinion was widely reported in news media outlets including ABC News, NBC News, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC and The Hollywood Reporter.

The firm team was led by Partner Jessica Ring Amunson and included Associates Tassity Johnson, Olivia Hoffman and Michael J. Wadden, with assistance from Na'eem Conway, manager of docketing services, and Tyler Edwards, docket assistant.  Former pre-clerk Logan Gowdey and former summer associates Meenu Krishnan and Owen Keiter also contributed to the team.