U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., no longer blocks anyone on his official government Twitter account, his office said Tuesday. In May of last year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana sent a letter to Daines saying he was censuring constituents, and therefore violating their First Amendment right to petition government officials, by blocking accounts.
Daines' office told Montana Public Radio last year that out of his 38,500 Twitter followers at the time, 12 were blocked. Daines’ office told MTPR that the reason some of the accounts were blocked was because they tweeted profane messages that Daines didn’t want some of his young followers to see.
On Tuesday, a federal appeals court ruled that President Donald Trump was violating the First Amendment every time he blocked a critic on Twitter to silence a viewpoint.
When asked by the Missoulian on Tuesday, a spokesman for Daines responded that “there are no blocked accounts on Steve’s Twitter!”
The spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for a reason why the senator no longer blocks anyone on Twitter.
That means all three of Montana’s representatives in Congress do not block anyone on Twitter, according to their offices.
“Sen, (Jon) Tester does not block anyone on Twitter,” said a spokesman for Tester, a Democrat.
Likewise, Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte’s office said he doesn’t block anyone on social media, even though he doesn’t have an official government Twitter account. His campaign for Montana governor does have an active Twitter account.
“Greg thinks it’s important to hear from all Montanans, regardless of their views, which is why there are no blocked users on his congressional Facebook page,” said a spokesperson for his office.
The ACLU Montana media relations office could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.