State Rep. Chuck Clemons is appealing a federal judge’s decision not to toss out a lawsuit against him because he blocked a constituent from his official social media.
To compare, another federal judge has held that President Donald Trump‘s blocking of critics on Twitter is unconstitutional.
In February, Attwood, of Gainesville, had tweeted at Clemons to ask why he voted against a motion to take up debate on a bill to ban assault weapons.
“I was just trying to understand why my state representative didn’t support the assault weapon ban,” Attwood said in a statement. “I was shocked when he responded by blocking me from his accounts.”
His suit alleges Clemons engaged in viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment by excluding him from official social media accounts, or “otherwise publicly accessible forums.”
Eric Lindstrom, another of Attwood’s attorneys, likened it to getting “kicked out of a public official’s town hall event … for asking a tough question.”
In an email earlier this year, Clemons countered that Twitter and Facebook “are not government entities, nor are pages paid for by government.”
“Any legislator, or any citizen, has the right to decide who they will or won’t allow to interact with them online,” he said. “I would no more allow someone to be hostile or abusive online than I would if they were standing on my front porch. This is still America and I feel confident that reason, common sense, and freedom will prevail.”
In part, Walker had said Clemons wasn’t immune against being sued because he “controlled his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He was responsible for blocking Attwood. Therefore, he was responsible for the challenged action.” Clemons is represented by Florida House general counsel Adam Tanenbaum.