Rep. Greene agrees not to block critics from Twitter account
LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and a Los Angeles-based political action committee have reached a settlement that bars the Georgia Republican from blocking anyone from her public Twitter account or other social media while she’s in office.
Greene also agreed to pay $10,000 to cover legal fees for MeidasTouch LLC, which plans to donate the money to two nonprofit groups, according to Ben Meiselas, the PAC’s co-founder and a lawyer whose clients have included former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The deal was approved last Friday, he said.
“This was a swift and impactful resolution we are proud of,” Meiselas said in an email.
A telephone message seeking comment from Greene’s Washington, D.C., office wasn’t immediately returned Thursday.
However, Greene was acidly critical of the settlement in a tweet.
“Because of this PAC’s frivolous lawsuit against me, I’m not allowed to block people that threaten my life and my children’s lives every single day on social media,” she tweeted. “And they are bragging about donating the money to organizations that want to take away my guns, so I couldn’t defend myself and my children, when people show up to murder us.”
Greene hadn’t acknowledged any wrongdoing in the agreement, which says all parties reached the deal to avoid “the risk, inconvenience and expense of litigation.”
MeidasTouch sued Greene in February, contending that she violated its First Amendment rights by blocking it from one of her Twitter accounts after the PAC posted critical comments.
MeidasTouch bills itself as being “dedicated to exposing and opposing anti-democratic politicians.” It has posted numerous videos, many of them excoriating former President Donald Trump, and has more than a half-million Twitter followers.
Greene is a Trump supporter who in the past promoted violence against Democrats and conspiracy theories about QAnon and the 9/11 attacks, prompting the House to remove her from two committee assignments last month.
Although it wasn’t her formal congressional Twitter account, MeidasTouch said Greene uses it as a “de facto” official account, sharing her positions and doing fundraising drives. The postings generate thousands of replies, according to the lawsuit, which calls it “a kind of virtual town hall in which Greene and her aides use the tweet function to communicate news and information ... and members of the public use the reply function to respond.”
The lawsuit said a federal appeals court several years ago ruled in a case involving Trump that a political figure can’t use Twitter’s blocking function to bar critics from using a social media account that is “otherwise open to the public at large.”
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, was sued in a similar case that she later settled.
Under Greene’s settlement, the lawmaker restored MeidasTouch’s access to her account and agreed that while she’s in office, she won’t block the PAC or any member of the public from social media accounts that she or her aides use for communicating or fundraising in her role as a congresswoman.