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Judge: GOP can’t block liberal group’s Twitter comments

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A federal judge says top Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature violated the First Amendment when they blocked a liberal-advocacy group from seeing their Twitter feeds.

U.S. District Judge William Conley sided with the group One Wisconsin Now on Friday. The judge ruled the legislators acted in their official government capacity when they set up their Twitter accounts, and therefore the interactive parts of their accounts were public forums.

The judge said the lawmakers engaged in discrimination when they blocked the political group.

One Wisconsin Now filed a lawsuit in 2017 alleging Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, state Rep. John Nygren and then-Rep. Jesse Kremer had blocked the group, preventing it from commenting on their tweets.

The case raised the question of whether a government official’s social media account is a public forum.

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