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Courts and Crime

Judge's Decision That Trump Can't Block Critics On Twitter May Inform Suit Against LePage

Robert F. Bukaty
AP Photo
Gov. Paul LePage 2018

The ACLU of Maine says the outcome of a federal free speech case against President Trump bodes well for a similar lawsuit the organization filed against Governor Paul LePage.

ACLU of Maine Legal Director, Zachary Heiden says in both cases, the defendants were stifling comments and participation on a public social media site.

"This is not about Governor LePage's or President Trump's personal accounts, but rather social media accounts that they use for conducting government business," says Heiden.

Wednesday, a judge in New York ruled that President Trump may not block people from viewing and responding to his official Twitter feed, and that doing so violates their First Amendment rights.

Last year, the ACLU of Maine filed suit on behalf of two women who allege that Governor Paul LePage deleted their comments and blocked them from his Facebook account.

"We think this ruling bodes well for our case, and we're hoping that the court will see the parallel between the way president Trump has treated people on Twitter and the way Governor LePage has treated people on Facebook," Heiden says.

LePage requested that the case be thrown out, saying that his "official page" is not meant to be a "government" page.

Federal judge John Woodcock has yet to rule.