Centralia man suing local state representative over Twitter blocking
BOONE COUNTY - A Centralia man filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch over her reported blocking of people from her Twitter account.
Mike Campbell works as an attorney in Columbia, and described himself in the lawsuit as a "politically outspoken commentator on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter." Reisch represents the 44th District in the Missouri House of Representatives, which covers parts of Boone and Randolph Counties.
According to the lawsuit, on June 23 Campbell posted "statements critical of Representative Reisch" on Reisch's Twitter page. She apparently responded by "permanently blocking [Campbell] from accessing or commenting on her Twitter account."
Campbell's lawsuit said Reisch's actions are a violation of both the First and Fourteenth Amendments "because the comment section of her Twitter account is a designated public forum within which the State may not discriminate against speakers based on their viewpoint."
The lawsuit cited a federal court ruling from May 2018 in which a judge ruled "President Trump violated the First Amendment rights of Twitter users whom he blocked from commenting" on his Twitter accounts.
Campbell's lawsuit seeks to bar Reisch from blocking him or anyone else from her Twitter page based on their viewpoints or content, as well as damages and attorneys' fees.