Expert Pitch

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Appellate Court Ruling

David Greenberg, a Rutgers–New Brunswick professor of history and of journalism and media studies, is available to discuss a federal appeals court ruling that President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking individual users from his Twitter feed.

Greenberg said, “Tuesday’s ruling shows the robust health of the First Amendment. Recently, many are succumbing to the temptation to silence those who express views they don’t like. An errant tweet or bad joke or misinterpreted comment can get you fired. This has happened to people on the left and the right—and to comedians, critics, journalists, television personalities, and others. As an ethical matter, President Trump should not be blocking people whose comments he dislikes; but, more important, this ruling establishes that he can’t do so as a constitutional matter.

“The appellate court was correct to rule that in using his personal twitter account for official presidential business, Trump cannot discriminate by blocking users on the basis of their political viewpoint. We’ve had periods in the past when presidents have been tempted to shut down the speech of individuals or news outlets they disagree with. It has always turned out to be a bad idea,” Greenberg concluded.

Greenberg specializes in American political and cultural history, and is a contributing editor and columnist at Politico Magazine.

For interviews with Greenberg, please contact Megan Schumann at 848-445-1907 or megan.schumann@rutgers.edu.

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Released: 20-Nov-2020 4:25 PM EST
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Released: 16-Nov-2020 2:55 PM EST
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