Supreme Court Takes Stand With Donald Trump

( )- Turns out that former President Donald Trump didn’t violate the Constitution after all — at least because he’s no longer in the White House.

On Monday, the Supreme Court stood behind Trump in overturning a lower court ruling that said he violated the Constitution when he blocked some of his critics from following him on Twitter.

The decision that was made by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was vacated as a result of the high court’s decision. The Supreme Court sent the case back down to the appeals court, with instructions to dismiss the case as “moot” because Trump is no longer president.

While this may not be a big deal for Trump himself, it could have far-reaching effects on future presidents. Now, there is no court ruling that would bind judges from prohibiting presidents from blocking people on social media accounts.

In 2019, a three-judge panel of that court of appeals unanimously ruled that Trump was acting in his official role as president when he blocked users on Twitter. Because of that, they ruled that Trump was, in effect, excluding people from a public forum, which was in violation of the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court didn’t issue a written explanation for their ruling. There weren’t any noted dissents in the decision.

Conservative justice Clarence Thomas, though, wrote that he agreed with the decision to vacate the decision made by the 2nd Circuit, since Trump is no longer in office.

According to Thomas, the petition highlighted the “principal legal difficulty that surrounds digital platforms — namely, that applying old doctrines to new digital platforms is rarely straightforward.”

He wrote:

“Respondents have a point, for example, that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s account resemble a constitutionally protected public forum. But it seems rather odd to say that something is a government forum when a private company has unrestricted authority to do away with it.”

The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University joined two individuals who were blocked by the former president to bring the suit.

When the suit was originally filed, the Department of Justice asked the Supreme Court to reverse the decision that was made by the 2nd Circuit. On January 19 of this year, one day before the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the DOJ asked the court to dismiss the case since Trump would no longer be in the White House.

The Knight First Amendment Institute actually agreed that the case was now moot, but not for the same reasons that the Supreme Court ruled. The institute believes it’s moot because Twitter banned Trump from their platform.

Jameel Jaffer, who serves as the executive director of the institute said the case “was about a very simple principle that is foundational to our democracy: Public officials can’t bar people from public forums simply because they disagree with them.

“While we would have liked the Supreme Court to leave the Second Circuit’s ruling on the books, we’re gratified that the appeals court’s reasoning has already been adopted by other courts, and we’re confident it will continue to shape the way that public officials use social media.”