First Amendment lawsuit filed against Rep. Boebert over block of constituent on Twitter

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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s posts on her personal Twitter account have gained praise and backlash from thousands in her first couple of weeks in office, but an alleged press of a block button has her facing a 30-page lawsuit in the Federal Court of Colorado.

Bri Buentello is filing the lawsuit. She’s a former democratic representative living in Pueblo, a city Boebert represents.

“I was really shocked to find out she had blocked me from seeing everything in that account,” Buentello said. “That is the first thing they tell you when you walk through those doors; here is the bathrooms, here is your constitutional duty, don’t block people on social media. I am in touch with nine other people she has blocked, some are constituents some are not.” 

David Lane, a civil rights attorney and lead council in this suit, says it doesn’t matter if this alleged blocking comes from the elected official’s personal account. 

“When someone approached me and said she’s censoring me and that’s a First Amendment violation, I am more than happy to jump in the fray and try to teach her a lesson about the Constitution and American government,” Lane said.

In 2019, a federal appeals court ruled President Donald Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked people on Twitter. 

“The government said ‘look, you are a government official and all you do on your account is post political stuff so it’s a political forum, you are posting politics’ and that’s the same thing for Boebert,” Lane said. 

FOX31 reached out to Boebert’s office to talk about the lawsuit. Her chief of staff said the office will not be commenting on any pending litigation.

In Colorado, the FOX31 Problem Solvers discovered taxpayers paid for more than $75,000 in settlements over a 12-month span all as a result of lawmakers blocking constituents online.

Former Lafayette Mayor Christine Berg settled for $20,000 after being accused of blocking an activist.Thornton Mayor Pro Tem Jan Kulmann settled for $30,000 after blocking a fracking activist on her social media page.Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia settled for $25,000 after blocking a constituent upset with his leadership.

This latest lawsuit seeks damages and attorney fees. It also asks the court to compel Boebert to unblock Buentello.

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