In rather more than 280 characters, a U.S. federal court judge has ruled that President Donald Trump can't block critics from his personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump.
New York Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald ruled that it's unconstitutional for the head of state to block Twitter users from his account simply because he doesn't agree with them, especially because Trump is a public figure who uses his personal account for political purposes.
The case – Knight Institute v. Trump – was brought to Buchwald's bench by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University last July.
The claimants say the president violated freedom of speech by blocking them followers from his account for posting messages he disliked.
University of Maryland Professor Philip Cohen was blocked by Trump in June 2017 after he answered a text from the president with the words: "Corrupt, incompetent, authoritarian."
Trump's lawyers and the White House director of social networks, Daniel Scavino, said the president had a right to decide who had access to his private twitter account.
However, the court ruled that the president is a public figure who has used his personal twitter account to make political announcements and that his feed is, indeed, a "public forum" and thus protected by the first amendment.