State Rep. Reisch responds after losing Twitter lawsuit in federal court

4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago Friday, August 16 2019 Aug 16, 2019 Friday, August 16, 2019 4:24:00 PM CDT August 16, 2019 in News
By: Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - A U.S. District Judge ruled against State Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, R-Hallsville, in a lawsuit about her Twitter account blocking users.

In June 2018, a Centralia man filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking to bar Reisch from blocking him or anyone from her Twitter page based on their viewpoints or content.

Mike Campbell, who filed the lawsuit, 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." 

According to the lawsuit, on June 23, 2018, 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."  

Reisch released a statement Friday after the ruling, saying, in part, it was "filed by an individual who never had the intent of communicating with me or my office, but instead wanted to generate publicity with frivolous ‘Politigation.'" 

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.

Reisch said her next step will be to "weight the merits" of appealing the lawsuit. 

Reisch represents the 44th District in the Missouri House of Representatives, which covers parts of Boone and Randolph Counties.

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