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Colorado lawmakers vote to let themselves block constituents on social media

Courts throughout the country have deliberated on the issue for years.
Credit: Nadia - stock.adobe.com

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers on Thursday decided to allow themselves to block their constituents on social media.

If signed into law, House Bill 1306 would give all elected officials in the state the power to block someone from viewing or interacting with an official's social media pages — for any reason. This would apply to their personal social media accounts, even if they use them for official business, but not accounts attached to a specific political office. 

The bill cleared the Senate in a 26-9 vote on Thursday, following the House's 43-20 approval on Monday. Now, it will go to Gov. Jared Polis for final consideration. 

"The bill is setting some delineations around what is state action and what is considered private," said bill sponsor Sen. Bob Gardner, R-Colorado Springs. "Since you're a state senator, is everything that you do state action? Should it be state action? ... The case law is murky." 

The bill's passage comes less than two weeks after the Supreme Court announced it will hear two cases regarding whether it is unconstitutional for elected officials to block people on social media. Courts throughout the country have deliberated on the issue for years.

The bill aligns state law with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling in Lindke v. Freed. The court last year ruled that an elected official can block individuals from their social media account if the account isn't paid for by government funds, if the official has no legal duty to have an account, and if the account remains with the official after they leave office. 

>Read the full article at Colorado Politics.

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