The DOJ argued that while Trump tweets in official capacity, blocking users is personal.
Today, The United States Justice Department and a group of Twitter users faced off in court for the appeal of a case that will determine whether President Donald Trump blocking certain accounts on Twitter amounts to a violation of the First Amendment of our Constitution.
CNN has an extensive report on the goings-on in today's court hearing.
Here's an excerpt:
Before a three-judge panel in Manhattan federal court, the Justice Department argued that Trump wasn't "wielding the power" of the federal government when he blocked certain individuals from his personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, because while the President sends tweets in his official capacity, he blocks users as a personal matter.
But an attorney for the Knight First Amendment Institute -- which, along with seven individuals who have been blocked by the President on Twitter, sued Trump last year -- said the President's actions were taken in his official government capacity.
Though conceding that Trump had launched the account before he took office, the attorney, Jameel Jaffer, said Trump "began using it as President as an extension of his office."
Though the panel didn't rule on the matter, the judges appeared to question the Justice Department's argument. If Trump blocked people in his personal capacity, "it is curious to me that the Justice Department is here representing him," Judge Peter Hall said in response to the government's attorney, Jennifer Utrecht.
"Your very presence here represents that this" -- an apparent reference to Twitter -- "is a public forum," Hall added.
Utrecht said the department was representing the President because Trump had been sued in his official capacity.
Last year, a New York federal judge ruled that Trump had violated the Constitution when he blocked Twitter users.
US District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in her ruling that "no government official -- including the President -- is above the law, and all government officials are presumed to follow the law as has been declared."