Washington (CNN) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a lower court opinion that held then-President Donald Trump violated the First Amendment when he blocked followers from his Twitter account.
The Supreme Court dismissed the case because Trump is no longer president, so there is no longer a live case or controversy.
Trump established his Twitter account in 2009, and in May and June 2017, while serving as president, he blocked seven people who had expressed dissatisfaction with him.
Attorneys for Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute sued on behalf of the individuals, arguing that Trump’s action violated their First Amendment rights.
In court documents, they said that the president’s account, @realDonaldTrump, “functions as an official source of news and information about the government, and as a forum for the president’s speech, before and about it.”
A district court said the then-president’s action to block supporters violated individuals’ First Amendment rights by excluding them from a public forum based on their views, a decision later upheld by an appeals court.
Then-Attorney General Jeff Wall asked the Supreme Court to take over the case, arguing that Trump’s account was personal, even if sometimes handled by his adviser Dan Scavino.
«By ignoring the critical distinction between official statements [a veces] of the President on Twitter and his always personal decision to block respondents from his own account, “argued Wall, the lower court opinion” blurs the line between state action and private conduct despite repeated and recent exhortations from the president. Cut to that line when applying the First Amendment. “
But after the election and after Twitter banned Trump from the platform for violating its policies related to the insurrection of the United States Capitol, Wall asked the court to dismiss the case and delete the lower court opinion.