EFF filed an amicus brief urging the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to recognize that members of the public have a First Amendment right to access the social media feeds of government officials and communicate with governmental officials through social media when such channels are generally open to the public.
In 2018, Missouri state representative Cheri Reisch tweeted criticizing her political opponent, Maren Jones. Representative Kip Kendrick criticized Reisch's tweet, calling it "a low blow and unacceptable from a member of the Boone County delegation." When one of Reisch’s constituents, Mike Campbell, retweeted Kendrick's criticism, Reisch permanently blocked Campbell from following or commenting on her account.
Campbell brought this case alleging that blocking him was an unlawful viewpoint-based restriction that violated his free speech rights. The District Court agreed. Reisch now appeals.
In its amicus brief, EFF explained that when the government opens a channel of communication with the public, it cannot pick and choose the people who get to participate based on their viewpoints. The brief further argues blocking infringes the First Amendment right to receive information from the government that is otherwise distributed to the public, a violation that is especially dangerous when public health and safety information is communicate through social media feeds.