ACLU lauds court ruling against public officials blocking constituents on social media

aclu virginiaThe U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled today that the chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors can’t block constituents from social media accounts used for official business.

The ACLU of Virginia had filed an an amicus brief in the case, styled Davison v. Randall, siding with the plaintiff.

Comment from ACLU of Virginia Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañaga:

“The Fourth Circuit ruling makes clear that, if a public official maintains a social media account to talk about official business and invites constituents to participate, a public forum has been created. People then can’t be denied access based on the content of their speech. The court held that the distinction the Loudoun County chair tried to make between “public” and “private” accounts is irrelevant. Government cannot rent private space to conduct public business and then claim the constitution doesn’t govern activities in the private space. If it is government activity, then, constitutional free speech guarantees against viewpoint-based discrimination apply.

“The Fourth Circuit has sent a strong message to public officials and agencies in Virginia and other states in the circuit. You cannot ban speech you don’t like from social media accounts you use to talk about government business. Public officials at all levels of government should act quickly to comply with this ruling.”

Subscribe

Augusta Free Press content is available for free, as it has been since 2002, save for a disastrous one-month experiment at putting some content behind a pay wall back in 2009.

(We won’t ever try that again. Almost killed us!)

That said, it’s free to read, but it still costs us money to produce. The site is updated several times a day, every day, 365 days a year, 366 days on the leap year.

(Stuff still happens on Christmas Day, is what we’re saying there.)

AFP does well in drawing advertisers, but who couldn’t use an additional source of revenue?

From time to time, readers ask us how they can support us, and we usually say, keep reading.

Now we’re saying, you can drop us a few bucks, if you’re so inclined.

Click here!


News From Around the Web


Shop Google






Comments