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Ken Paxton unblocks Texans on Twitter after being sued for violating their free speech rights


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was slapped with a lawsuit last month for blocking people from his official Twitter account. - COURTESY PHOTO / TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
  • Courtesy Photo / Texas Attorney General's Office
  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was slapped with a lawsuit last month for blocking people from his official Twitter account.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is the latest conservative politician to face legal blowback for trying to shut down criticism on his Twitter feed.

The embattled Republican AG has unblocked nine people from his official Twitter account after they filed a lawsuit alleging that he violated their First Amendment rights, the Texas Tribune reports.

The group — all Texans — sued Paxton in April, arguing that by blocking them from his @KenPaxtonTX account he'd hampered their rights to access statements from a public official and participate in public debate.

The ACLU of Texas and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University represented the nine plaintiffs. Lyndsey Wajert, a legal fellow with Knight told the Tribune that it's proceeding with the case even though Paxton lifted this ban.

The suit alleges Paxton “blocked many other individuals" from his account for holding views contrary to his own, the Tribune reports. It's unclear whether he also unblocked those people.

The Knight First Amendment Institute is the same free-speech organization that beat President Donald Trump last year in a federal court case over whether he could ban critics from his Twitter account. (We say "could" there because Trump had his account suspended in the wake of the January 6 Capitol insurrection.)

Last year, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, unblocked several people who'd posted critical comments on his Twitter feed after Knight sent a letter warning that his action left him open to potential lawsuits.

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