Trump Ignores Court Ruling That He Can’t Block Twitter Critics: ‘President Thinks He’s Above the Law’

President Donald Trump defied a federal court judge who ruled Wednesday that it was unconstitutional for the president to block people on Twitter over their dissenting political views.

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled that comments on Trump’s personal Twitter account—and those of other officials in the U.S. government—were public forums and that blocking critics for voicing their views breached the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Eugene Gu, a surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and one of the seven plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told Newsweek on Thursday that Trump still hasn’t complied with the court’s ruling. “I am still blocked,” Gu said at 11 a.m. ET. “I have spoken to the other plaintiffs, and they are still blocked as well.”

Although Buchwald did not order Trump or Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, to unblock the individual plaintiffs in the case, she did announce that a declaratory judgment should be sufficient.

“Because no government official is above the law and because all government officials are presumed to follow the law once the judiciary has said what the law is, we must assume that the President and Scavino will remedy the blocking we have held to be unconstitutional,” she wrote.

Gu, however, is uncertain whether Trump will ever comply with the ruling. “I think that Trump doesn’t care about these matters and the rule of law. I don’t think he’ll unblock me,” Gu said. “The president thinks he is above the law, as you can see from him always denigrating the FBI, the Department of Justice, the CIA, all the law enforcement agencies because of the Mueller investigation.”

Gu added, “Trump thinks that he doesn’t have to even care about a little matter like a federal judge telling him what to do.”

“I highly doubt that he will unblock us. In fact, I think that this judgment will make him want to block us even more. If he could double block us he would do that.”

GettyImages-956111416 U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision on the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House, on May 8. Eugene Gu told Newsweek that Trump still hasn't unblocked him on Twitter despite a court ruling issued on Wednesday. Getty

Following the ruling, Gu revealed that the plaintiffs have already discussed next steps with their legal team. “One option is to ask the judge to issue an injunction which would, in essence, force the president to unblock us,” Gu said.

The lawsuit against Trump was filed last July by the Knight First Amendment Institute of Columbia University on behalf of seven people, including Gu, who were blocked by the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.

“This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, 'block' a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States," Buchwald said when giving her verdict. "The answer to both questions is no.”

Trump blocked Gu June last year after the surgeon posted a tweet ridiculing him for his infamous Covfefe post. “Covfefe: The same guy who doesn't proofread his Twitter handles the nuclear button,” Gu wrote.

The White House did not respond to Newsweek’s request for comment about whether the president will comply with the ruling.

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