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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will have to go to court to defend blocking Brooklyn lawmaker on Twitter


A court already ruled that the president can't block people without violating the First Amendment

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) will appear in federal court in Brooklyn in November after a New York state lawmaker accused her of blocking her on Twitter, allegedly over criticism.

What happened?

In July, former-New York state Assemblyman Dov Hikind filed a lawsuit against Ocasio-Cortez, saying that she had blocked him on Twitter for "opinions he expressed."

Hikind has been a vocal critic of Ocasio-Cortez, calling her a "calculating Antisemite" and a "crazed radical."

"Because of Plaintiff's criticism of AOC, Mr. Hikind has been prevented or impeded from viewing AOC's tweets, from replying to the tweets, from viewing discussions associated with the tweets, and from participating in those discussions," Hikind argued in his lawsuit. Hikind argued that by blocking him, she had violated his first amendment rights.

On Thursday, Hikind tweeted that he was "[l]ooking forward to hearing all her reasons for blocking me among her critics!"

Hikind told the New York Post that he was "very excited" about the decision to make her testify.

"Five million people follow her and she blocks Dov Hikind," he told the Post. "What in God's name was she concerned about?"

Ocasio-Cortez tried unsuccessfully to get the judge to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that it "lacks standing." She has insisted that she blocks very few people, and only does so "for harassment, not for political views."

According to Hikind's Twitter account, the court date is set for Nov. 5.

What else?

This isn't the first time that a court will have analyzed the Twitter practices of a politician. In June, the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that President Donald Trump could not block critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment.

"The government is not permitted to 'amplify' favored speech by banning or burdening viewpoints with which it disagrees," the court wrote in its decision.

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