Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton was recently sued by two free speech advocacy groups representing 9 people who were blocked from his Twitter account for the simple reason of criticizing him.
Most of the users were blocked after they tweeted their opinion regarding Paxton’s qualifications and policies, such as his unsuccessful lawsuit to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
The lawsuit aims to achieve a court ruling that declares this practice a violation of the first amendment. Mr. Paxton is an elected official and therefore he’s supposed to act as such, he can’t go around blocking people as any other person.
“Multiple courts have recognized that government officials who use their social media accounts for official purposes violate the First Amendment if they block people from those accounts on the basis of viewpoint,” stated Katie Fallow, a senior staff attorney with the Knight First Amendment Institute, one of the groups presenting the demand. “People shouldn’t be excluded from these important democratic forums simply because an official doesn’t like what they have to say.”
Paxton’s office said that they don’t manage Paxton’s personal or campaign social media accounts. They tried to justify the AG by saying that there’s no one blocked from his official accounts.
The lawsuit notes that Paxton “regularly uses the @KenPaxtonTX account to make official announcements or provide information that is not communicated through the @TXAG account” and adds several examples.