ACLU files lawsuit asking court to stop Gov. Matt Bevin's social media policy
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, May 26, 2017
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday morning demanding that Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin stop permanently banning or blocking individuals from his official social media accounts.
According to a news release from the ACLU, the lawsuit claims that the policy is a violation of the First Amendment, and asks for an injunction to prevent Bevin from continuing it.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mary Hargis, whom the ACLU describes as "a retired, eastern Kentucky social justice activist and a politically engaged Louisville resident" who was permanently banned from the governor's official Facebook page and Twitter accounts after she posted comments that the ACLU says, "were not obscene, abusive or defamatory."
"I've been very active in my community and in Frankfort for the past two years," said Hargis in a statement. "I've been frustrated with Governor Bevin's stances on a number of social justice issues. I was shocked when I discovered that I was blocked from further commenting on the Governor's posts. I may not have voted for Governor Bevin, but I'm one of his constituents. He shouldn't be permanently dismissing my views and concerns with a click."
Bevin spokeswoman Amanda Stamper said the blocking isn't violating free speech rights. Stamper says Bevin blocks users who post "obscene and abusive language or images, or repeated off-topic comments and spam."