Lauren Boebert, a new Republican congresswoman from Colorado, U.S.A., has been sued in federal court for blocking a former Democratic state representative Bri Buentello on Twitter. She is accused that by doing so, she violated the free speech rights of Buentello.
The lawsuit claims that “Buentello is a concerned citizen, and a constituent of Boebert, who has tweeted criticism of Boebert”. It was filed by a civil rights lawyer from Denver. It is also claimed that by blocking Buentello, Boebert follows the steps of her “authoritarian hero” Donald Trump.
Boebert blocked Buentello on her personal Twitter account, but since Boebert uses the account to post policy positions it is unlawful for her to block someone from viewing it, claims the lawyer of Buentello. He added that by blocking someone, Boebert prevents them from “learning information that is shared only through that account.” It is argued that because of the way she uses the account, it is “an important channel for news about her office and the United States government”. Boebert’s congressional office declined to comment.
This lawsuit is the latest controversy regarding Lauren Boebert since she took office earlier this month. She had her personal account briefly suspended after sharing claims about Democrats rigging the 2020 presidential election.
Buentello, who filed the lawsuit, called Boebert “white supremacist and unapologetic fascist.”
In the past, there were at least four settlements in Colorado lawsuits that included elected officials blocking their followers, but there has not been a court ruling explicitly outlawing the practice. But some courts in other states have ruled it unconstitutional for elected officials to block followers on social media because it impedes their ability and rights to participate in government.