The White House is in for a legal battle after the US Supreme Court was asked to pause some of the restrictions that the Trump Administration had imposed on individuals who submit requests through its social media channels.
A former Reuters employee, Misha Dasari, filed a lawsuit in December 2019 claiming the White House was breaking federal law by blocking individuals from submitting requests through its social media accounts. He alleged that the White House’s practice of blocking certain potential requesters, such as political opponents and members of the press, was unconstitutional. Dasari argued that the First Amendment to the US Constitution gives citizens the right to petition the government, including through social media.
The case was then moved to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, where a panel of three judges unanimously denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case in late June. They found that Dasari’s First Amendment claim was “plausible,” meaning it could go to trial.
With the case still ongoing, Dasari asked the US Supreme Court to pause the White House’s social media restrictions while his case was being decided. In a brief submitted to the Supreme Court, Dasari argues that the restrictions imposed by the White House are causing “irreparable harm” to him and other potential requesters and that this harm will continue if the restrictions are allowed to remain in place.
The Supreme Court is expected to decide whether or not to take up Dasari’s request in the coming months. If it does, it could potentially set a precedent in how requests are made through social media platforms, with significant implications for the Trump Administration.