A federal district court judge in New York has ruled it's unconstitutional for President Trump to block users on Twitter. The president's Twitter feed was ruled to be a "public forum," and by blocking users, he is in violation of the First Amendment.
YOU HEAR THAT? UNBLOCK ME COWARD https://t.co/8TN3orCyAz
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) May 23, 2018
Part of the decision came down to the fact that when Trump blocks a user, they are no longer able to reply to his tweets, Reuters reports. "Once it is a public forum, you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying," argued U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald earlier this year.
The ruling could potentially have even broader implications:
This pretty clearly suggests that the ruling covers all public officials. https://t.co/kEzEuYxfaB
— Philip Bump (@pbump) May 23, 2018
Buchwald ultimately ruled that "the viewpoint-based exclusion of the individual plaintiffs from that designated public forum is proscribed by the First Amendment and cannot be justified by the president's personal First Amendment interests." The lawsuit was filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute and Columbia University and a handful of Twitter users. Read the full decision here. Jeva Lange
Conservative commentator Glenn Beck's radio program won't be airing on SiriusXM this week, the satellite radio company announced Tuesday. Though a lot can be said on the radio, SiriusXM says that it draws the line at what guest Brad Thor said about Donald Trump last week on Beck's program. The fiction writer hypothesized that it might be necessary to break the law to oust Trump from the presidency:
If Congress won't remove him from office, what patriot will step up and do that if, if, he oversteps his mandate as president, his constitutional-granted authority, I should say, as president.
If he oversteps that, how do we get him out of office? And I don't think there is a legal means available. I think it will be a terrible, terrible position the American people will be in to get Trump out of office because you won't be able to do it through Congress. [Thor, via Breitbart News]
A vocal supporter of Ted Cruz's run for the GOP nomination, Beck "did not immediately admonish or distance himself from the comments," Politico reports. SiriusXM says the comments "may be reasonably construed by some to have been advocating harm against an individual currently running for office," which it says it can't "condone."
Beck has yet to comment on the suspension, but he denied last week that anyone on his show threatened the presumptive GOP nominee. "NOBODY stated or implied any harm coming to Trump, that's not something we joke about," he wrote on Facebook.
His usual slots on both the Patriot channel and The Blaze have already been filled with other programming. Becca Stanek
In a memo to NBC News staff on Saturday, Brian Williams said that he is stepping away from the NBC Nightly News desk anchor desk for "several days," after he admitted to erroneously putting himself on a helicopter hit by a rocket-propelled grenade while covering the Iraq War in 2003. Weekend anchor Lester Holt will fill in for Williams during his absence.
"In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions," Williams told his NBC News colleagues in his memo. "Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us."
The New York Times cobbled together Williams' shifting story of his harrowing helicopter ride, from what appears to be an accurate report after it happened to gradually placing himself in the Chinook hit by an RPG, rather than one following behind:
Williams "can't be gone too long," Al Tompkins at the Poynter Institute tells The Associated Press. "The timing will be critical - too short and it won't seem like he has taken himself out of the game long enough, and too long and he looks like damaged goods." New York Times media critic David Carr argues that "American public won't abide someone putting himself into the naughty corner and setting the conditions for staying there," and that Williams needs to make "a full-throated, unmodulated apology." At the same time, Carr doesn't think Williams should be fired: "His transgressions were not a fundamental part of his primary responsibilities." NBC is conducting an internal investigation. Peter Weber