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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Texas Sen. John Cornyn Unblocks Twitter Critic After Being Sued Over the Ban

Posted By on Tue, May 5, 2020 at 11:36 AM

click to enlarge John Cornyn speaks during an appearance at the conservative CPAC conference. - GAGE SKIDMORE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons
  • John Cornyn speaks during an appearance at the conservative CPAC conference.
Joining the company of his good buddy President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has been sued in federal court for banning a critic from his Twitter feed.

In the suit, Tod Beardsley, research director for cybersecurity company Rapid7, maintains that the Texas GOP senator engaged in “viewpoint-based discrimination and censorship” on a public political forum. 



On Friday, the day after the suit was filed, Cornyn reversed his ban, the Austin-American Statesman reports. A spokesman for the senator's office told the paper Beardsley was “inadvertently” blocked.

Even so, on a website he created to document beef with Cornyn, Beardsley said he's continuing with the suit to "prevent this from happening to anyone else. And maybe recover some legal fees."

He added: "Also, hey Twitter? Make it harder for people to accidentally block people. Especially when the people doing the blocking are government officials."

Last year, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that President Donald Trump cannot block critics from his Twitter account because he uses the platform to conduct government business.

Similarly, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, last fall apologized for blocking a former elected official after being slapped with a suit over her move.

Beardsley, who regularly tweets about election security, posted on Twitter that his lawsuit came after numerous attempts to get Cornyn to unblock him. In addition to the website, he created a hashtag called #1AForTexans — the "1A," apparently signifying the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech.


Another online critic of Cornyn, Kay Bell of the Don't Mess With Taxes blog, also tweeted that she'd been blocked. She told the Statesman that she was barred from the feed on March 28, after blasting Cornyn in a tweet.


Now seems as good a time as any to remind readers that Cornyn, who's spent roughly 18 years in office, is up for reelection this November.

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