- Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
- John Cornyn speaks during an appearance at the conservative CPAC conference.
Last week, the Knight First Amendment Institute fired off a letter to the Texas Republican asking him to unblock a constituent who posted a critical comment on his Twitter feed. Citing court rulings, the group pointed out that public officials are in violation of constitutional free-speech guarantees when they ban critics from their official social media accounts.
If the Knight Institute sounds familiar, that may be because the Columbia University-based group won a victory over President Donald Trump in federal court last year over whether he can legally block critics on Twitter.
Lo and behold, the same day Knight sent its letter to Cornyn, the organization tweeted that the constituent the senator had barred from his account — a former intern in his office, no less — had been unblocked.
We asked @johncornyn to unblock our client, @heathmayo, and he did, just a few hours later!— Knight First Amendment Institute (@knightcolumbia) May 13, 2020
If other people are still blocked by Sen. Cornyn, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org://t.co/X2VpUEBXwg pic.twitter.com/7iiBPdVWH5
The former intern, Heath Mayo, also confirmed his unblocking in a tweet. And author and CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter said she too was able to access Cornyn's feed after being banned.
Look at that! I’ve been unblocked, too. No doubt thanks to the work of @knightcolumbia. Way to go!— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) May 13, 2020
Earlier this month, Cornyn unblocked another Twitter critic a day after that user sued in federal court. The plaintiff, an Austin-based cybersecurity researcher, said he'll continue to pursue the case because he wants to prevent others from being blocked by the senator.
Looks like for all of his recent Trump-inspired nicknaming and name calling, the senator's got paper-thin skin when it comes to social media.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.