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Lauren Boebert’s Private Twitter Account Is Not An Official Account!

Recent events in Colorado show that a woman’s attempts to prevent Lauren Boebert from barring the plaintiff’s access to Boebert’s personal Twitter account were unsuccessful. According to the federal court in Colorado, Boebert’s blocking of the plaintiff did not constitute “state action.”

On the evening of January 6, 2021, Brianna Buentello tweeted @ Boebert, criticizing his public remarks before, during, and after the storming of the United States Capitol. Following this, Boebert blocked Buentello’s @laurenboebert account on Twitter.

Because of the block, Buentello is unable to view Lauren Boebert‘s @laurenboebert Twitter feed (at least when logged into the blocked account) or take part in conversations that began because of Boebert’s tweets.

Lauren Boebert's Private Twitter Account Is Not An Official Account!

After Boebert was elected to represent Colorado’s 3rd congressional district in January 2021, the Committee on House Administration set up a Twitter account for her and handed over control of it to her. That account is @RepBoebert. Robert did not prevent Buentello from accessing his account.

To protect her First Amendment rights, Buentello filed suit when she was barred from contacting @laurenboebert. Before any discovery was done, Boebert filed for summary judgment on the grounds that Buentello’s claims are barred by the law.

Boebert said that her blocking of Buentello did not include any “state intervention,” which was one of the justifications given. According to the court, Buentello’s demands for discovery were a “fishing expedition” because she wanted to depose members of Congress. Only “state” (or governmental) action is protected by the First Amendment.

Lauren Boebert's Private Twitter Account Is Not An Official Account!

A private party cannot be held responsible for a breach of the First Amendment. Due to this, the judge wondered aloud whether or not “[s]o… did the action complained of here, banning Plaintiff from @laurenboebert, constitute official or state action?”

The answer provided by the court emphasized that the burden of proof was on Brianna Buentello, who must show that Boebert acted on behalf of the state to prevent Buentello from gaining access. According to the ruling, she did not.

The court pointed out that Boebert only blocked the plaintiff on her private Twitter account (@laurenboebert), not her official account (@RepBoebert). Before accepting office, the defendant was free to act on her own behalf, and after she leaves office, she will be free to do so again.

Lauren Boebert's Private Twitter Account Is Not An Official Account!

On the other hand, Defendant lacked the authority to prevent Plaintiff from using the official account before he took office and will lose that authority upon his departure. The court added that Boebert’s conduct was not “made possible solely because [she is] clothed with the authority of [federal] law.”

The court ruled that a lawmaker’s use of his or her personal social media account to communicate with constituents or make statements related to their elected position does not immediately transform the member’s activity on that account from private to the official.

Using Facebook was likened by the court to “[going to] the hardware shop, [having] a talk with neighbors, or [going to] church,” according to the representative’s attorney. It’s a way for members of Congress to do their jobs without turning their efforts into state action. Boebert’s clarification that her personal account was distinct from her official account was also noteworthy.

Lauren Boebert's Private Twitter Account Is Not An Official Account!

According to the court, “[t]he webpage for the account… leads to a campaign-fundraising page for Defendant,” and the defendant calls herself “Congresswoman for CO-03,” “Owner of Shooter’s Grill,” and “the mom that told Beto HELL NO.”

On the other hand, Plaintiff is able to access Defendant’s official Twitter account (@RepBoebert), where she represents herself as “Congresswoman (CO-03),” “Co-Chair #2A Caucus, and a member of several other House committees and caucuses.”

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Lauren Boebert's Private Twitter Account Is Not An Official Account!

In conclusion, Boebert was within her rights to restrict Buentello because she was using her personal account as such and not as an official site. The court agreed that it wasn’t a First Amendment infringement even though it wasn’t a good idea for Boebert to block a constituent.

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