Right to Exclusion, Government Spaces, and Speech


About the author:

Torsha Sarkar is a lawyer-by-training, and at the Centre for Internet and Society, she focuses on issues of social media regulation, intermediary liability and freedom of expression. She is interested in the application of constitutional law doctrines to digital spaces, and exploring alternative modes of internet regulation.


Introduction


On April 8, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), vacated the judgment of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Knight First Amendment Institute v Trump. In that case, the Court of Appeals had prevented Donald Trump, then-POTUS, from blocking his critics from his Twitter account on the ground that such action amounted to the erosion of constitutional rights of his critics. The Court of Appeals had held that his use of @realDonaldTrump in his official capacity had transformed the nature of the account from private to public, and therefore, blocking users he disagreed with amounted to viewpoint discrimination, something that was incompatible with the First Amendment.


The SCOTUS ordered the case to be dismissed as moot, on account of Trump no longer being in office. Justice