Before a federal judge decides if it’s A-OK for AOC to block nettlesome Twitter followers, he wants to hear from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — and not via the internet.
“I think she has to testify here,” declared Brooklyn Federal Judge Frederic Block during a Thursday hearing in the lawsuit brought by ex-politician Dov Hikind over his ban from AOC’s feed.
Block, after seeing hundreds of pages of tweets entered into evidence, said he believed hearing from the freshman member of Congress was necessary to decide whether to toss the suit or let the case proceed. Ocasio-Cortez boasts a staggering 5.4 million Twitter followers — even without Hikind.
The former state Assemblyman took on the media-savvy Ocasio-Cortez when she gave him the Twitter boot in a spat over her description of federal immigration detention centers as “concentration camps.” He griped that AOC was violating his First Amendment rights, citing a recent decision declaring President Trump’s blocking of Twitter trolls was unconstitutional.
Hikind testified Thursday that he doesn’t personally send the tweets in his account — one of his staffers handles the “clicking” once he’s taken care of “the wording.” There was also discussion about the difference between AOC’s two Twitter accounts: One government-issued, the other her personal/campaign feed.
Lawyers for AOC also noted that Hikind did not live in her Bronx-Queens district, but rather in the Manhattan-Brooklyn area represented by Jerrold Nadler.
“So you’re not a constituent of Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez?” asked her attorney Joseph Sandler.
“I’m a citizen of the United States,” he replied.
“So you’re not directly ...” continued Sandler.
“Not technically, yes,” said Hikind.
Block did assure both sides that his decision won’t be released in the 140-character format,.
“I don’t think I will,” he said. “I’m afraid to use it. I haven’t posted anything on it. It scares me.”