Judge Floats Idea to Settle @realDonaldTrump Twitter Blocking Case

The masthead of US President Donald Trump's Twitter account as

As she worked her way through pages of meticulous questions and requests for clarification, Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald of the United States District Court suggested a possible resolution, which involved yet another feature of the platform: Muting. The users want Buchwald to declare the blocks unconstitutional, and to order the White House to unblock them.

The seven plaintiffs, though, are among "a few hundred" blocked by Trump, according to Ujala Sehgal, communications director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, which also joined the suit. Mute gives you even more control over the content you see on Twitter by letting you remove a user's content from key parts of your Twitter experience.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a lawsuit against him based on his Twitter behavior, but a Manhattan judge recommended a settlement, and suggested a new way Trump use the site.

Katharine Fallow, an attorney for the plaintiffs, indicated that her side was amenable to Buchwald's suggestion that Trump mute rather than block, though she said it "not necessarily a ideal solution".

Justice Department lawyer Michael Baer argued to Buchwald that by "blocking" people who attacked him, Trump was doing little more than exercising his right to communicate only with people he wanted. "I don't think it's a ideal solution, but it's far less restrictive", Fallow said. He nearly never, if ever, has responded directly to a tweet.

More news: Tillerson departs for Africa for talks with Buhari, others

"It might be better to resolve it in a practical fashion", she said. "Once it's a public forum, you can't shut somebody up because you don't like what they're saying", she said. "He can avoid hearing them by muting them".

Fallow argued in response that the president has placed an undue burden on the plaintiffs' speech by blocking them, which also has an impact on the comment threads provoked by Trump's tweets. This has barred these users from interacting with the President's @realdonaldtrump account.

After admonishing the attorneys to consider her mute-don't-block proposal, Buchwald said she will make a decision "in due course", though she said one likely won't come immediately. "As to the muting, I think that is an option".

Buckwalter-Poza and Cohen are amongst seven plaintiffs who went to federal court in New York Thursday to sue the president for violating their First Amendment right to free speech.

"We've said from the outset that muting would be a less restrictive alternative than blocking, so we were pleased the judge raised this possibility", Jaffer said.

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