US judge: Rep. Boebert can block people on personal Twitter

US & World
Lauren Boebert

FILE — In this June 23, 2021 file photo Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference at the Capitol in Washington. A federal judge has ruled the Boebert does not have to unblock former Colorado state Rep. Bri Buentello, a Democrat, from her personal Twitter account. District Court Judge Daniel Domenico said last week that Boebart didn’t violate Beuntello’s free speech rights because Buentello was blocked from Boebert’s personal Twitter account, not a government account. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

DENVER (AP) — A federal judge ruled last week that Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert does not have to unblock a former Democratic Colorado state lawmaker from her personal Twitter account.

U.S. District Court Judge Daniel D. Domenico said in his decision Thursday that Boebert, who represents the state’s 3rd Congressional District, did not violate the free speech rights of former state Rep. Bri Buentello because Boebert blocked Buentello from her personal Twitter account — and did not block Buentello from Boebert’s official government account, The Colorado Sun reported.

“Blocking a Twitter user on an account created before she was elected to office is something Ms. Boebert could do before she was in office and could do after she leaves office,” said Domenico, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump.

Buentello filed her lawsuit in January after she was blocked by Boebert after calling for Boebert’s recall following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Buentello’s lawyers argued that since Boebert uses her personal Twitter account to share official policy positions, it is unlawful for her to block constituents from seeing the account.

Although Domenico denied in his ruling a preliminary injunction for Boebert to unblock Buentello from the Twitter account, it’s not the final ruling on the case.

David Lane, an attorney representing Buentello, said they will make a decision on whether to continue litigating the case this week.

“It is a blow to our freedom of speech when a politician using a platform such as Twitter can block voices of dissent which she disagrees with and the courts won’t intervene to stop this First Amendment violation,” Lane said.

Boebert has links to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory and has sought to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. She gained attention for pledging to carry a gun in the Capitol.

Buentello lives in Boebert’s district and served a single term in the state House of Representatives before losing a reelection bid last November.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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