Texas AG Ken Paxton unblocks critics on Twitter after First Amendment lawsuit

Texas Politics

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the Austin Police Association on Thursday Sept. 10, 2020. Twitter has filed a lawsuit against the Texas Attorney General. The social media company claims the Republican used his office to retaliate against it for banning the account of former President Donald Trump following the riot at the U.S. Capitol last year. Days after the deadly riot, Paxton announced an investigation into Twitter and four other major technology companies for what he called “the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the president.” Twitter responded Monday, March 8, 2021 with a federal lawsuit claiming Paxton is seeking to punish it for taking Trump’s account offline. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will no longer block people on Twitter.

As a result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, Paxton unblocked nine Texans on the social media platform he previously barred from seeing his content simply because they didn’t agree with him.

The groups filed the lawsuit on behalf of the nine Texans who were blocked. Officials with the Texas ACLU said by blocking people, Paxton was being unconstitutional.

An agreement to dismiss the lawsuit was made after Paxton said he’d unblock all accounts he previously blocked based on First Amendment-protected viewpoints. Paxton unblocked the accounts in May, and he agreed to not block anyone else moving forward.

Former President Donald Trump was subject to a similar lawsuit by the institute in 2017 saying that by blocking people on Twitter based on their viewpoints, he violated the First Amendment.

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