By Sharon Aron Baron
When one takes a position as an elected official, one understands that criticism sometimes comes with it.
Sadly, it’s all part of the job.
When an elected official goes as far as blocking their detractors on social media, they violate the First Amendment.
In 2019, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the interactive portion of a public official’s Facebook page is a “public forum,” so an official cannot block people from it because of their opinions.
Doing so is unconstitutional.
Commissioner Marlon Bolton blocked Tamarac Talk after exposing his questionable political consulting company, phony website, and arrest on grand theft charges.
Bolton routinely uses his Twitter account for personal and government business. According to the ACLU, people who hold public office can act as private individuals and, at other times, government actors. While Bolton may maintain his First Amendment rights when acting as a private individual, he is subject to the limits the First Amendment places on the government whenever they’re doing government work.
In 2020, former President Trump asked the Supreme Court to restore his power to block individual Americans from following his Twitter account, an act that lower courts found violated citizens’ First Amendment rights. In January, Lauren Boebert, a Republican congresswoman from Colorado, was sued in federal court for blocking a constituent on Twitter.
The fact that a public official disagrees with you on an issue doesn’t mean they can silence you, and the Supreme Court made no exceptions.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
Got News? Send it to Tamarac Talk.
- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk, and Parkland Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2011 to provide News for the residents of Tamarac and is the #1 News Source for Residents.
- News2023.05.27Planet Fitness Launches High School Summer Pass Program to Combat Teen Obesity and Boost Mental Health
- News2023.05.26Joint Tactical Training Exercise to Commence in Broward County
- News2023.05.24Meet Gretel and Sissy, 2 Sweethearts Searching for Forever Homes
- News2023.05.07Unleash a Summer of Fun with the South Florida Adventure Pass: 4 Attractions, 1 Low Price