DENVER — The Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is suing a state Senator in federal court over allegedly blocking a constituent on social media.
Sen. Ray Scott (R-Grand Junction) represents District 7 in the state legislature. One of his constituents, Anne Landman, regularly commented and posted on Scott's pages, the ACLU said. She was critical of Scott.
When she wrote an article specifically criticizing Scott's position on climate change and posted it to his official Facebook page's wall, Scott — or his staff — blocked her from the page.
Blocking essentially removes that person from your social media. If you were to block a user on Facebook, they could not see your posts or interact with you or your posts.
According to the lawsuit filed by ACLU, Scott violated Landman's First Amendment rights by barring her from his social media pages.
Landman told ACLU Scott has allowed his followers who support him to ridicule her and harass her on his page without any repercussions.
9NEWS has reached out to Scott directly and will update when we hear back.
The lawsuit cites Packingham v. North Carolina, a Supreme Court case from 2017 that said one of the most important places for the "exchange of views" is the internet and social media.
The ACLU is suing local officials in Kentucky, Maine and Maryland for barring constituents — residents of the area they were elected to represent — from their social media pages. In those three states, the ACLU is suing each one's Republican governor. In the Maine case, they are suing former Gov. Paul LePage.
In May 2018, seven people sued President Donald Trump for blocking them on social media. It is unclear if Trump or an aide blocked said users. According to the New York Times, a federal judge in Manhattan deemed the practice of public officials banning constituents from their social media unconstitutional.
An appeals court is currently considering that case.
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