Boebert Claims It’s Legal For Her to Block Twitter Users From Her Personal Account
[Disclaimer: I am blocked by Lauren Boebert on her personal Twitter account]
Freshman Rep Lauren Boebert (Q-Colorado) was sued in January by Bri Buentello, a former Democratic state representative, after blocking Buentello on Twitter after the January 6th Capitol insurrection. Buentello accused Boebert on Twitter of sedition and said she should be recalled (members of Congress cannot be recalled).
Now Buentello wants a federal court to force Boebert to unblock her and prevent Boebert from blocking her and others in the future. Currently, she can neither see nor interact with Boebert’s personal account, @laurenboebert. She is not blocked from Boebert’s congressional account, @RepBoebert. Most members of Congress have multiple accounts to differentiate between campaign messaging and their official work, but Boebert–like her QAnon counterpart Marjorie Taylor Green–often saves her more extreme tweets for her personal account. Greene was also recently sued by the PAC MeidasTouch, and was not only forced to unblock them, but she also had to unblock any other accounts, including mine.
Boebert’s lawyer argued in federal court Tuesday that she did not violate Buentello’s constitutional rights by blocking the woman on Twitter because the Republican’s personal account is “entirely separate” from her official account.
— 🇵🇱Reality Dose🇺🇸 (@LRPow79) March 26, 2021
“This court should deny the motion for a preliminary injunction because it ignores the critical distinction between the congresswoman’s personal and official Twitter accounts, a mistake fatal to each of Ms. Buentello’s legal arguments,” Douglas Letter, a general counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives who is representing Boebert, wrote in a court filing Tuesday.
Buentello cited a 2018 decision, Knight First Amendment Institute v. Trump, in which a federal judge in New York ruled then-President Donald Trump blocking several constituents on his personal Twitter account violated their First Amendment rights to participate in a public forum. The ruling was upheld by a federal appeals court and is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Disclaimer: I was blocked by Donald Trump in 2015 and was never unblocked before he was permanently suspended from Twitter. I’m still blocked by Don Jr., Eric, and Ivanka).
— Bri Buentello (@Bri4CO) March 26, 2021
Buentello’s attorney has until April 9 to respond. The former state representative from Pueblo, who is considering challenging Boebert next year, said Wednesday that she remains confident the U.S. District Court in Colorado will rule in her favor.
“The bottom line is that she used that account to discuss policy, her stances on the issues, and yes, how she represents me in Congress,” Buentello said. “Her blocking my access is no different from her trying to prevent me from attending a Pueblo town hall, and whether Boebert likes it or not, she is a public servant who will be held accountable for (her) actions, seemingly for the first time in her life.”