The American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado is suing Colorado state Sen. Ray Scott on behalf of a constituent who alleged the Grand Junction Republican blocked her from his official Facebook page.
The constituent, Anne Landman, regularly commented and posted on Scott's pages, and was critical of Scott, the ACLU said.
When she wrote a comment criticizing Scott's position on climate change and posted it to his Facebook page's wall, she was blocked from the page, violating Landman's First Amendment rights.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled in January in the case of a Virginia county supervisor that "public officials cannot block critical comments on digital platforms used to conduct official government business and to interact with constituents," rejecting a claim that such accounts are privately owned, the Washington Post reported.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reports that Democratic state Senate President Leroy Garcia recently reached a $25,000 settlement of a lawsuit filed after a person who made critical remarks was blocked on his Facebook account. The Sentinel says the state paid for the settlement and Garcia's $2,030 in legal fees.