A judge on Thursday recommended that instead of blocking followers he doesn’t like on Twitter, President Donald Trump should just mute the undesired critics.
The suggestion came as a possible solution to end a First Amendment lawsuit filed in July by the Knight First Amendment Institute and seven people Trump blocked from following his @realdonaldtrump account. They argue that by blocking people, Trump is violating constitutional rights to free speech.
“Isn’t the answer he just mutes the person he finds personally offensive?” U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald asked. “He can avoid hearing them by muting them.”
Lawyers on both sides said they would consider the muting solution and consult with their clients, the Associated Press reported Thursday.
“It’s not a perfect solution, but certainly, it is a pretty good one,” said Katherine Fallow, a Knight institute lawyer.
U.S. Department of Justice attorney Michael Baer has argued that Trump should be able to block people on Twitter just as he can choose who to not listen to in a room full of people. Baer also argued that by blocking followers, Trump is not regulating access to a public forum and therefore not violating the First Amendment.
Trump has not yet tweeted about the judge’s suggestion.
H/T Associated Press