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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Seattle University School of Law

Seattle University Law Review

First Amendment

2020

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Government Tweets, Government Speech: The First Amendment Implications Of Government Trolling, Douglas B. Mckechnie Oct 2020

Government Tweets, Government Speech: The First Amendment Implications Of Government Trolling, Douglas B. Mckechnie

Seattle University Law Review

President Trump has been accused of using @realDonaldTrump to troll his critics. While the President’s tweets are often attributed to his personal views, they raise important Constitutional questions. This article posits that @realDonaldTrump tweets are government speech and, where they troll government critics, they violate the Free Speech Clause. I begin the article with an exploration of President Trump’s use of @realDonaldTrump from his time as a private citizen to President. The article then chronicles the development of the government speech doctrine and the Supreme Court’s factors that differentiate private speech from government speech. I argue that, based on the …