Reisch sued for blocking constituent on Twitter

   

The fight over elected officials blocking constituents on social media has made its way to Missouri. Mike Campbell is suing his state representative, Cheri Toalson Reisch, for blocking him on Twitter.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court. Campbell is alleging that since Twitter is a public forum, blocking constituents because of their political views is a violation of that constituents First Amendment rights.

Campbell alleges that he was blocked in June 2018 by Reisch’s Twitter account after retweeting another state representative that was critical of her. According to the lawsuit, Reisch responded by “permanently blocking [Campbell] from accessing or commenting on her Twitter account.”

Since “the comment section of her Twitter account is a designated public forum within which the State may not discriminate against speakers based on their viewpoint,” Campbell claims Reisch’s actions violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The lawsuit seeks to bar Reisch from blocking him or anyone else on Twitter along with damages and attorneys’ fees.

In May 2018, a federal court ruled that “President Trump violated the First Amendment rights of Twitter users whom he blocked from commenting” on his Twitter accounts. Other officials across the country are being sued on similar grounds.

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.