WASHINGTON — A group of Twitter users blocked by President Donald Trump sued him and two top White House aides Tuesday, arguing that his account amounts to a public forum that he, as a government official, cannot bar people from.
The blocked Twitter users, represented by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, raised cutting-edge issues about how the Constitution applies to the social-media era. They say Trump cannot bar people from engaging with his account because they expressed opinions he did not like, such as mocking or criticizing him.
哥伦比亚大学骑士第一修正案研究所(Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University)代表这些被拉黑的推特用户，他们提出了关于宪法如何适用于社交媒体时代的新问题。他们说，特朗普不能因为别人发表了他不喜欢的意见，比如嘲笑或者批评他，就禁止别人和他的帐号互动。
“The @realDonaldTrump account is a kind of digital town hall in which the president and his aides use the tweet function to communicate news and information to the public, and members of the public use the reply function to respond to the president and his aides and exchange views with one another,” the lawsuit said.
By blocking people from reading his tweets, or from viewing and replying to message chains based on them, Trump is violating their First Amendment rights because they expressed views he did not like, the lawsuit argued.
It offered several theories to back that notion. They included arguments that Trump was imposing an unconstitutional restriction on the plaintiffs’ ability to participate in a designated public forum, get access to statements the government had otherwise made available to the public and petition the government for “redress of grievances.”
Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit also names Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, and Dan Scavino, Trump’s director of social media, as defendants. It seeks a declaration that Trump’s blocking of the plaintiffs was unconstitutional, an injunction requiring him to unblock them and prohibiting him from blocking others for the views they express, and legal fees.
这宗诉讼是向纽约州南区的联邦地方法院提起的，它还把白宫新闻秘书肖恩·斯派塞(Sean Spicer)和特朗普社交媒体主管丹·斯卡维诺(Dan Scavino)列为被告。它希望法院宣布特朗普拉黑原告是违宪的，要求他取消这些拉黑的强制令，禁止他因为别人发表的意见而拉黑他们，并让他支付法律费用。
The Knight First Amendment Institute, directed by Jameel Jaffer, also joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff although its Twitter account had not been blocked by Trump. It argued that it had a First Amendment right to hear from people who had been blocked and are barred from participating in the “forum” of message chains based on his postings.