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Madison, Wis. – A federal judge says top Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature violated the First Amendment when they blocked a liberal advocacy group from seeing their Twitter feeds.

U.S. District Judge William Conley sided with the group One Wisconsin Now on Friday. The judge ruled the legislators acted in their official government capacity when they created their Twitter accounts, and therefore the interactive portions of their accounts were public forums.

The judge said the lawmakers engaged in content-based discrimination when they blocked the political group.

One Wisconsin Now filed a lawsuit in 2017 alleging Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, state Rep. John Nygren and then-Rep. Jesse Kremer had blocked the group, prevented it from commenting on their tweets.

The case raised the question of whether a government official’s social media account is a public forum.

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