“Do You Have a Constitutional Right to Follow the President on Twitter?”

Probably not, says John Samples: “the fact that designated public forums may be non-physical, coupled with Trump’s status as President of the United States, is probably not a sufficient basis to deem his Twitter account a designated public forum. The courts have generally determined that designated public forums must be owned by the government in an official capacity, or used for official government communication….In effect, Trump’s becoming president does not nationalize the private Twitter account that he used before ascending to the nation’s highest office, and will likely continue to use when his tenure in the White House ends.” [Cato] More: Eugene Volokh (citing ruling on challenge about social media accounts used by officials in Fairfax County, Va.)


  • Ninth Circuit opinion: Normally, no. There is no Constitutional right to follow a President on Twitter. However, because this is Trump, he has no right to block anybody from following him.

  • Rather than “because this is Trump” is should be “because this President’s spokesperson has stated that this President’s tweets “are considered official statements of the President.”

  • And they can still see them. They just have to log out of Twitter first. It mostly keeps them from replying to him, which is more like refusing to take questions from certain people because they’ve annoyed you too much.

  • I can imagine The Onion Real Voices comment:
    “Wow. President Trump really put Twitter on the map!”

    On a serious note, what is the effect of his Twitter account being a designated public forum? What is the definition and what rules apply?