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ACLU Sues Hogan Over Blocking Of Facebook Users

August 1st, 2017 by WCBC Radio

WBAL reports the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland is filing a federal suit against Gov. Larry Hogan and his staff over what they say is unconstitutional censorship of comments on his Facebook page. The ACLU first raised issue with Hogan's Facebook page in February. They contacted the governor on behalf of seven people who had been blocked from his page and urged the administration to stop blocking users and review all the other users blocked during Hogan's time in office. A number of those blocks coincided with criticism of President Donald Trump's travel ban. A number of Facebook users at the time, urged Hogan to speak out against it.

This suit is on behalf of four users blocked by Hogan's Facebook page.

"The highest purpose of the First Amendment is to protect the right of Americans to engage in political speech and to petition the government to address their concerns," Deborah Jeon, legal director for the ACLU of Maryland, said in a statement. "As the Supreme Court ruled in June, and a federal judge in Virginia echoed just last week, social media has become a vital means for constituents to communicate with their elected officials. It violates both the First Amendment and Maryland's own social media guidelines for government officials to block out any voices of dissent or those simply raising questions about positions taken by public officials sworn to serve."

Hogan's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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