The White House has turned to the Supreme Court in its continuing fight to allow President Donald Trump to tune out critics. On Thursday, it asked the Court to overturn a ruling from a lower court stating that Trump’s blocking of users on Twitter constitutes a violation of the First Amendment.

In 2019, the U.S. Court of Appeal for the 2nd Circuit ruled that Trump’s conduct on his personal Twitter account effectively made it "an official channel of communication," therefore, the three-judge panel ruled that Trump could not constitutionally block anyone using his account on the basis of political beliefs. The full appeals court declined to hear the case again.

The petition submitted to the Supreme Court continues to press the distinction between Trump’s official communications on Twitter and those through his personal platform. Despite using the official @POTUS account – it has 31.1 million followers – for some official releases, Trump has long been criticized for continuing to use his personal account – it has 85.4 million followers – to make often rash and incendiary comments about official policy matters, blurring the line between each account.

“President Trump’s ability to use the features of his personal Twitter account, including the blocking function, are independent of his presidential office,” Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote in the petition submitted to the court. “Blocking third-party accounts from interacting with the @realDonaldTrump account is a purely personal action that does not involve any ‘right or privilege created by the State.’”

This case was first brought against Trump in 2017 by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute. Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the institute, has urged the court to uphold the prior ruling.

“The Supreme Court should reject the White House’s petition and leave the appeals court’s careful and well-reasoned decision in place,” Jaffer said, adding that the case “stands for a principle that is fundamental to our democracy and basically synonymous with the First Amendment: government officials can’t exclude people from public forums simply because they disagree with their political views.”

US President Donald Trump is to deliver remarks in Pennsylvania, near his Democratic opponent Joe Biden's hometown
US President Donald Trump is to deliver remarks in Pennsylvania, near his Democratic opponent Joe Biden's hometown GETTY IMAGES / CHIP SOMODEVILLA