Supreme Court Rules Unanimously in Public Officials’ Social Media Case

In certain instances, public officials may be sued for deleting or blocking commenters.

The U.S. Supreme Court released decisions in two cases regarding public officials blocking individuals who left negative comments on social media. The lawsuits involved Southern California school board members and a Port Huron, Michigan, city manager. The court ruled that, under certain circumstances, public officials can be sued for restricting the First Amendment rights of commenters.

However, “State officials have private lives and their own constitutional rights,” Justice Amy Coney Barrett wrote in the decision. “When a government official posts about job-related topics on social media, it can be difficult to tell whether the speech is official or private.”

“The threshold inquiry to establish state action is not whether making official announcements could fit within a job description but whether making such announcements is actually part of the job that the State entrusted the official to do,“ the decision continued. “For social-media activity to constitute state action, an official must not only have state authority, he must also purport to use it.“ 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for the Supreme Court justices as they deliberate and decide three more outstanding cases regarding social media.
  • For the justices to be led by the Lord as they prepare rulings in the various cases they have heard.

Sources: AP, Axios


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